The NFL’s Explanation for Ray Rice Is Increasingly Unsatisfying

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, stretches alongside teammates during an NFL football training camp practice, Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
AP

The NFL’s Adolpho Birch, in charge of handing out discipline for the league, went on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show Monday to defend against a suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice that many are deeming too lenient.

Birch told the show’s hosts that the two-game suspension was “appropriate.” Rice was seen on video dragging the lifeless body of his fiancee out of an Atlantic City elevator earlier this year after he allegedly knocked her out cold. From the interview:

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“I think it is absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.

“I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that. So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that.”

Birch did not, however, explain Rice’s two-game suspension in relation to longer penalties for testing positive for marijuana or performance-enhancing drugs.The NFL czar’s answers did not sit well with the show’s hosts or with callers, who found Birch’s explanation evasive.

Said host Mike Greenberg, “I do not feel that most people listening to that discussion feel they got an adequate explanation of how they arrived at two games.”

h/t Washington Post