Erin Summers

Goodell let us down with Rice suspension

Posted July 25, 2014

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

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • uBnice Jul 30, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Thank you. I respect your opinion on this issue.

  • gregoryrjones Jul 29, 2014

    UBNICE,

    I think he should've gotten at least 4 games. That would've been more in line with previous rulings and sent a stronger message to the female fans of the league. That segment of the NFL fan base is growing and this could stunt that growth.

  • uBnice Jul 28, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Ray Rice's fiance was arrested on the same charges that night. Goodell said he made his decision after listening to the compelling testimony of Rice's wife. I just wonder what she told Goodell.

    So you and the author thinks he should have gotten more? I think his wife did not want him to have any suspension time? Why? And please don't tell me because she is some helpless victim who simply is at the mercy of this demonized man.

    Please don't get me wrong. I am absolutely against any domestic violence and us men commit too much of this towards our significant others.

  • gregoryrjones Jul 28, 2014

    Erin,

    You seem surprised by the ruling of Goodell. I'm not. Remember, this is the same man that suspended and fined Saints players based on his opinion. Not facts, his opinion. Then his old boss, Paul Tagliabue overruled him.

    I agree that he should've gotten more but, am not surprised he didn't because, Goodell is inconsistent with his rulings. They seem to be based on how he feels, rather than the letter of the law according to the NFL Bylaws and/or rules.

    That is why HGH testing will be a major sticking point while he is the Commissioner of the NFL. The players simply don't trust him, and with good reason.

  • lewiskr45 Jul 28, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Well the NBA for one.

  • uBnice Jul 27, 2014

    I was disgusted with what Ray Rice did. Short of being assaulted with a weapon, he has ability to restrain most women.

    But, answer me this, what company suspends or even fires an employee based on a non-criminal domestic dispute? If not for the video, most of the world would not know and it would have been privately addressed.

    Bottom line, however, is that the young lady still married him. I wish their marriage well. It has a rocky start but hopefully they can work it out.

  • NOT Apologizing For Being White Jul 26, 2014

    "But regardless of whether both parties were involved, a male struck a female or vice versa – domestic violence on any level is not okay."

    No, it's not, thats why he was punished by the courts and his employer.

    "This is an issue that is extremely important to me"

    So what! Nobody cares about your personal sob story. Get over yourself and get over it. Obviously the NFL thinks the punishment was just and didn't call you to ask if it was OK. SMH

  • Deb Rodgers Jul 26, 2014
    user avatar

    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.

  • Paul Hill Jul 26, 2014
    user avatar

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

  • Doc Holliday Jul 26, 2014

    View quoted thread


    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.

More...

 

 

  • Premier League Soccer : Manchester United vs. Leicester

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Major League Baseball Washington Nationals at Houston Astros

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 95.7 The Ticket

NFL Preseason
Thursday, Aug. 17
Baltimore31Final
Miami7
Buffalo16Final
Philadelphia20
Tampa Bay12Final
Jacksonville8
Friday, Aug. 18
Minnesota13Final
Seattle20
Saturday, Aug. 19
Carolina27Final
Tennessee34
Kansas City30Final
Cincinnati12
Indianapolis19Final
Dallas24
NY Jets6Final
Detroit16
Green Bay21Final
Washington17
New England23Final
Houston27
Chicago24Final
Arizona23
LA Rams24Final
Oakland21
Denver33Final
San Francisco14
Sunday, Aug. 20
Atlanta131:19
2nd Qtr
Pittsburgh3
New Orleans 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
LA Chargers 
Monday, Aug. 21
NY Giants 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:�
Cleveland 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Durham0Final
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre3
Indianapolis3Final
Syracuse4
Gwinnett7Final
Buffalo1
Rochester6Final
Louisville13
Pawtucket 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET2:05 MT4:05 ET9:05 GMT5:05 北京时间
Columbus 
Toledo 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET2:05 MT4:05 ET9:05 GMT5:05 北京时间
Norfolk 
Lehigh Valley 2:05 PT3:05 MT4:05 CT5:05 ET3:05 MT5:05 ET10:05 GMT6:05 北京时间
Charlotte 
Wyndham Champ (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1H. Stenson-1913
2O. Schniederjans-1814
3tR. Armour-1718
3tR. Sabbatini-1717
3tK. Na-1713
6tM. Flores-1518
6tC. Smith-1518
6tS. Lowry-1517
6tR. Werenski-1515
6tW. Simpson-1514
View Full Leaderboard
 
Solheim Cup (LPGA)
USA: 16.5 | Europe: 11.5
Singles - Day 3
MatchScore
Hull1 up
LangF (18)
 
Thompsonhalved
NordqvistF (18)
 
Matthew1 up
LewisF (18)
 
Salas1 up
Ewart ShadoffF (18)
 
Creamer1 up
HallF (18)
 
Yinhalved
IcherF (18)
 
Kerr2 and 1
ReidF (17)
 
Kang3 and 1
PedersenF (17)
 
Sagstrom3 and 2
ErnstF (16)
 
Piller4 and 2
ParkerF (16)
 
Masson4 and 2
WieF (16)
 
Ciganda4 and 3
LincicomeF (15)
View Full Leaderboard
 
Paul Lawrie (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
Siem v OTAEGUI172 and 1
CARLSSON v Canizares163 and 2
View Full Leaderboard
 
DICK'S SG Open (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1tS. McCarron-1713
1tK. Sutherland-1713
3tJ. Daly-1316
3tW. Austin-1315
5tC. Montgomerie-1116
5tS. Parel-1115
5tJ. Sindelar-1114
8tK. Perry-1018
8tP. Broadhurst-1017
8tJ. Smith-1013
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Sunday, Aug. 20
Western & Southern Open (ATP/WTA)
Final
(7) G. Dimitrov 
N. Kyrgios 
 
Winston-Salem Open (ATP)
First Round
T. Monteiro 
A. Dolgopolov 
N. Kicker 
A. Kuznetsov 
M. Baghdatis 
R. Berankis 
J. Struff 
N. Gombos 
D. Lajovic 
P. Chrysochos 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Sunday, Aug. 20
Western & Southern Open (ATP/WTA)
Final
(2) S. Halep 
(4) G. Muguruza 
 
Connecticut Open (WTA)
First Round
M. Lucic-Baro 
A. Kontaveit 
Y. Putintseva 
A. Cornet