The NFL will suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following his arrest this offseason on an assult charge, according to an ESPN report Thursday.
Rice allegedly struck his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City elevator in February, knocking her unconscious. In the video below, Rice is shown dragging Palmer out of the elevator. Rice, a running back and 3-time Pro Bowler, pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated assault and avoided a trial or jail time by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program.
Rice will not be paid during the suspension, in which he will miss games against the Bengals and Steelers. Rice, who makes $7 million per season, will be fined $58,000 by the NFL.
Outraged fans and media members took to Twitter Thursday to rail against a fine they deemed insufficient.
The decision follows a May press conference in which Rice and the Ravens were criticized for their handling of the incident. Choosing his words poorly for an incident involving domestic abuse, Rice said, in part, “I won’t call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down; it’s not getting up.” Palmer, who was knocked unconscious, actually apologized for her role, saying “I do deeply regret the role that I played in the incident that night.”
This week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh stood by his player, saying, “There are many sides to every story,” Harbaugh said. “There are a lot of factors. There are other people involved; there are other disciplinary situations involved around the league.”
The Twittersphere took a strong stance against the league’s decision, especially in light of other possible NFL discipline. Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a year-long suspension for smoking marijuana. Indy’s Robert Mathis got four games for using an infertility drug. In 2012, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would crack down on DUI and domestic violence cases.
To many, the league’s words seemed hollow.