In late July, the NFL suspended Ray Rice for two games this season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy during a physical altercation with his then-fiancée, now wife, earlier this year.
Early Monday morning, TMZ Sports released video surveillance footage of Rice delivering a vicious knockout punch to Janay Palmer on an elevator inside the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 15.
Footage shows the Baltimore Ravens running back knocking Palmer right off her feet with a cold left-hand punch, resulting in her head bouncing off the elevator’s hand rails, knocking her unconscious. Several seconds later, Rice is seen dragging Palmer’s unconscious body off the elevator.
On Monday, the NFL released this statement to the media:
"We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us. And no one in our office has seen it until today."
Late last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell penned a letter to the league’s team owners, explaining that he failed getting Rice’s suspension correct.
“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families,” Goodell wrote about the Rice incident and subsequent two-game suspension. “I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right.”
The commissioner also stiffened the league's policy on domestic violence, making a first offense an automatic six-game suspension without pay. A second offense spells banishment from the league with the commissioner allowing the offender to petition for reinstatement after one year, although that would be to Goodell's discretion.
However, despite the commissioner’s remorse and domestic violence rule changes, he and the league are likely to be criticized more for only suspending Rice for two games after Monday's release of this disturbing video.
What are the chances that the NFL lengthens Rice's suspension after watching this new footage?
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(Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)