Following Ray Rice’s two game suspension, we are gathering reactions and tidbits related to the announcement. Baltimore Ravens.com has the letter that league commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Rice to notify him of his suspension. In the letter, Goodell noted that Rice acknowledged that his behavior was “unquestionably inconsistent” with the league’s policies and expectations.
Goodell also notes that Rice is expected to continue to seek counseling and other “professional services” in light of his domestic abuse. Goodell does note that he believes Rice is sincere in his attempt to learn and move on from the incident.
Ozzie Newsome reacted to the news by telling the press that while not having Rice for two games is significant, he “respects the league’s decision and believe it is fair.” “We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice. The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues.”
Ozzie, like John Harbaugh earlier in the day, spoke of the incident as if it was not typical behavior for Rice.
“That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Rice released a statement expressing his feelings about the decision.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”
Rice acknowledged that the incident hurt his standing as a role model in the community and expressed his desire to earn back the trust of fans.
“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident,” he said. “I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”
Ultimately time heals all wounds, and we expect the incident to be a forgotten matter before long. Now that the long wait for the suspension announcement is over, the Ravens and Ray Rice are happy to move on. There has been a huge public backlash regarding the short length of the suspension in relation to the seriousness of domestic violence, and rightfully so. We would not be surprised at all to see some changes take place in future discipline as a result.