Looking back at last year with the highly publicized Ray Rice domestic violence incident, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is downright embarrassed that the NFL and his team didn't recognize domestic violence as a category of its own under the league's personal conduct policy.
"I think that we were pretty stupid not to recognize domestic violence as a category by itself," Bisciotti told about 5,000 Ravens' season-ticket holders during a conference call Wednesday, as reported by ESPN. "No other infractions — failed drug tests, bar fights or DUIs — nothing to me should rise to that level. I'm embarrassed to say that they were lumped together. So, I'm happy that we found ourselves comfortable taking that categorically and putting it into at the top of the list as something that is just unacceptable."
Rice's domestic violence incident — in which he punched his then-fiancée, now-wife, Janay Rice, unconscious on an Atlantic City, New Jersey, hotel casino elevator on Feb. 15, 2014 — instantly made national headlines. After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with the Rices, the league initially suspended the Ravens running back for two games. The Ravens continued to stand by and support Rice for several months.
However, when the chilling surveillance footage of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée on the elevator surfaced in September, it resulted in the Ravens cutting the rusher and the league suspending him indefinitely.
Bisciotti learned a lot about the situation.
"We did the best we can," Bisciotti continued on the conference call. "I can't say I don't have regrets. I said back then, my regret was not cutting him. My regret was not demanding to see the video. I believe we could've gotten it. If we had seen the video back in the spring, I think we would have a different circumstance. We would've released him. We should have seen the video in May and not in September."
In the future, Bisciotti says the Ravens plan to stand way more firm on avoiding players with domestic violence history altogether.
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(Photos from Left: Andrew Burton/Getty Images, Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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