banner
Erin Summers

Goodell let us down with Rice suspension

Posted July 25

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season Thursday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following his arrest for domestic violence in February.

The announcement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell of a 2-game suspension was met with immediate backlash on social media as fans felt the punishment was weak considering the ‘crime’ – and I agree.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the circumstances surrounding Rice’s arrest, arrest records stated he struck his then-fiancé and video surfaced of Rice dragging her unconscious from a casino elevator in Atlantic City.

Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and avoided trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May. Under the personal conduct policy, the NFL can suspend a player even if he isn't charged or convicted of a crime.

To be fair, his fiance was also arrested on the same charges that night and has since married Rice. So she must not have any hard feelings towards him.

But regardless of whether both parties were involved, a male struck a female or vice versa – domestic violence on any level is not okay. This is an issue that is extremely important to me and one that the NFL could have taken a stance on in how it dealt with the punishment of Ray Rice.

I feel like Roger Goodell let us all down.

I have seen arguments made that players that get caught for violating the substance abuse policy earn 4-6 game suspensions, or players that illegally hit players with pads on during a game can receive the same suspension for someone who hits a girl with his fist.

It’s easy to compare it to other violations but it shouldn’t be. The Rice incident happened off the playing field and doesn’t directly affect his job – as drugs or an illegal hit do. It does however affect the integrity of the NFL and reflects on him, his team, his popularity as a player and forces his coach to make a statement on a very touchy issue.

I applaud Rice for attending counseling and for Goodell to make a point of saying he is expected to continue to attend counseling.

Counseling seems more than necessary for someone who apparently knocks another person unconscious – especially a person he/she claims to love. But beyond the counseling, Goodell had an opportunity to make a point that the NFL does not stand for domestic violence and quite possibly ‘scare’ Rice straight.

Ndamukong Suh has not learned from his multiple fines and suspensions. Josh Gordon, Justin Blackmon have not learned from theirs. Sometimes it takes a drastic move to make someone change, sometimes a fan base needs the reassurance from the most popular sport in the country that they won’t stand for domestic abuse.

Goodell hasn’t asked to be a spokesperson for social issues and sports was never intended to be an avenue to better the mindset of the human race – but they can be.

We’ve seen example of that in the Los Angeles Clippers and Don Sterling case in the NBA and the St. Louis Rams and Michael Sam.

A couple hundred grand and a few games won’t make or break a professional athlete but it can make a grander statement to a fan base. One that on this occasion, I’m sad to say fell short.

 

17 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • rsadcox2 Jul 25, 5:01 p.m.

    Well said.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 25, 6:48 p.m.

    IMO - generally pro athletes get off too light in almost all such cases. In particular, the NFL and NBA need to have clauses in player contracts that require SIGNIFICANT penalties/punishments for such behavior.

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Jul 25, 6:57 p.m.

    Disgusting, and after hearing Harbaugh's comments, I lost all respect for him.

    "To be fair, his fiancé was also arrested on the same charges that night and has since married Rice. So she must not have any hard feelings towards him." ARE YOU KIDDING???? Ya think she might have been pressured to say what she said?

    This "punishment" fell short in every way possible. Shame on Goddell, shame on Harbaugh, and most of all, shame on Rice.

  • Doc Holliday Jul 25, 10:21 p.m.

    Agree with the others but can't say I'm surprised he only received a 2-game suspension. There should be a zero tolerance policy in place for stuff like this.

  • **8** Jul 26, 7:52 a.m.

    If Johnny Manziel had done this he would have been released and crucified on espn . Why does Rice get a pass?

  • ACC EXPERT Jul 26, 8:33 a.m.

    It up to the courts too handle punishment
    the league suspended him for embarrassing the league, if anyone let you down Summers it was the girl friend now wife - she should have press charges to the max but she bailed out and married the guy.

  • Doc Holliday Jul 26, 9:35 a.m.

    If Johnny Manziel had done this he would have been released and crucified on espn . Why does... View More

    — Posted by **8**

    You have a point.....I think it's called a double standard.

  • Doc Holliday Jul 26, 9:43 a.m.

    It up to the courts too handle punishment
    the league suspended him for embarrassing the league,... View More

    — Posted by ACC EXPERT

    They're both clueless. Rice for treating his fiance the way he did and the fiance for marrying him after that ordeal. 2-game suspension? That's called a joke.

  • Winston Jul 26, 11:26 a.m.

    he NFL could care less about their players beating women. They hated to have to suspend him for 2 games. NFL revenues lost.

  • Deb1003 Jul 26, 12:44 p.m.

    With the amount of domestic violence in our country today, you'd think the NFL would take a tougher stand. I guess the league has more sympathy towards pitbulls than women.

More...

 

 

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN