After much scrutiny and criticism for past leniency, the NFL is getting tougher on domestic violence.
It was a scandal when the public found out that Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens had only been suspended for two games and would pay a relatively small fine after video of a nasty incident with his now-wife Janay Palmer surfaced. In the clip, he was seen dragging her unconscious body into an Atlantic City elevator after he’d allegedly struck her.
Michael Vick had gotten a far worse punishment for facilitating dog fights at one of his homes. There’s been chatter that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is known fo leveling harsh consequences to players that cut out of line. That’s why many were confused by his ruling in Ray’s case. At the time, he defended his position by saying that penalty was in line with past cases of domestic violence in the NFL.
Roger admitted earlier today, though, that he went way too easy on Ray at the time. “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,” Roger wrote in an open letter to USA Today.
“I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values,” he continued. “I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”
Under the NFL’s new domestic violence policy, first-time offenders will be banned for six games. They’ll be banned for life if they get caught again.
It’s not clear if the new policy will affect Ray at this time, but he better hope he never has another incident with his wife.