Baltimore Ravens Succumb to Public Pressure: Ray Rice Cut

September 8th 2014

Jarrett Moreno


BREAKING: The Baltimore Ravens just released running back Ray Rice after graphic elevator footage of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in April leaked today. If you're so inclined, it's available to watch on TMZ.com.

The video sparked heated debate about the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell's policy towards domestic abuse, and after Rice was handed a paltry two-game suspension last month, public outcry prompted the league to swiftly adopt a new policy that implemented harsher penalties for domestic abuse and sexual assault among its employees. As it happens, this Saturday is the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which was written by then-Senator Joe Biden in 1994 and provides greater funding for the investigation of incidents such as this one. 

Since the Violence Against Women Act became law, the rate of intimate partner violence has gone down 67% (according to the White House). However, as incidents like this prove, there is still work to be done. 

After mounting public pressure, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (on August 28th --- more than a month after the suspension was announced) took responsibility for the league's lackluster response to domestic violence, stating it has "no place in the NFL and [is] unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances."  Penalties against NFL players who commit domestic violence will now be a six-game suspension for a first offense and one-year ban for a second offense.

As Vice President Biden wrote yesterday, "We know there is still more to do, but years of struggle and progress have spurred a national understanding that you can't talk about human rights and human dignity without talking about the right of every woman on this planet to be free from violence and free from fear."