Ray Rice has been fired from the Baltimore Ravens, and put on indefinite suspension from the NFL, following the release of video footage that showed the former running back knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious in a hotel elevator last July. This comes after NFL Commissioner Ray Goddell's controversial original decision to suspend Rice for only two games.
When asked why the original suspension was relatively light, Goddell told reporters, "If you remember, the first video only showed Rice dragging Janay out of the elevator like a sack of onions. We at the NFL felt it would be wrong to conjecture what happened to cause her condition. You know, she might have been laughing really hard and knocked her head on the wall. I've heard other athletes say the same thing. The wives and girlfriends laughing and laughing -- those guys can say some funny things -- and the next thing you know, they're lying unconscious on the floor. Or Janay might have had a case of undiagnosed epilepsy, and had a really, really violent seizure. Or you know how some women say their boyfriends make them want to bang their head against the wall? She might have taken it literally. There were any number of possibilities."
When asked if he was blaming Ms. Palmer, Goddell replied, "Not at all. I mean, we thought there was a chance that Ray himself might have caused this mistake. Like maybe Janay was disoriented and had intended to walk out of the elevator in the wrong direction, and, in spinning her around to face the door, accidentally smashed her head against the wall. Or he was stretching following a workout, and didn't see where his fist was going. So, yes, we definitely considered the 'mistake' angle."
Goddell continued, "But in the end, we just didn't have the smoking gun, the final piece of evidence that told us that this was a deliberate act of violence, until the release of that piece of the video. Had I seen it earlier, I would have gone for a three-game suspension, no question."