The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games under its personal conduct policy.
Rice is accused of knocking his fiance unconscious in an Atlantic City casino last February. But some are saying the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Critics point out that a player can be suspended for four games for smoking marijuana and they say Rice’s two-game suspension seems lenient.
Rice will miss games against two AFC north rivals, the Steelers and the Cincinatti Bengals.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence says the NFL’s punishment is not acceptable. The executive director says it’s another case that shows an attitude of sexism in the NFL.
“21 of 32 teams in the NFL employ a player who has a domestic violence or sexual assault charge on their record,” says executive director Pam Dierkers. “This is appalling.”
“The sanctions should have been much stronger and perhaps the player sent away,” says Dierkers.
The NFL released the following letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to Rice:
“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL.
“The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.
“You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.
“I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations.”