The NFL has been having a rough month when it comes to the media. While it is not uncommon for NFL players to get into trouble, this month has been especially tough for the league. From assistant coaches speculating that Michael Sam’s sexuality will be a distraction, to the Miami Dolphins harassment suit, the league has seen better days. Currently, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is facing domestic violence charges for knocking his fianc?ee unconscious.
Last week, TMZ released footage of Rice dragging his fianc?ee’s unconscious body from an elevator in Atlantic City. The assault took place on Saturday, February 15, and according to the court summons, Rice committed “assault by attempting to cause bodily injury to J. Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.” To make matters even more disturbing, the police have video footage proving both parties attacked each other. Rice and his fianc?ee Janay Palmer were arrested and taken to a nearby police station. They have both been released, and Rice’s attorney said, “Neither Ray nor myself will try this case in the media.” The controversial video shows Rice dragging Palmer’s unconscious body out of an elevator and placing her on the floor. What appears to be a security guard approaches the couple, and Rice walks away seconds after she seems to regain consciousness. While this video is a mere 50 seconds of what transpired between the couple, it makes public the severity of Rice’s violent nature.
Domestic violence allegations create a public relations nightmare for the league. While the Ravens are not releasing the talented Rice, he could face the loss of endorsement deals and receive a penalty from the league.
The NFL, under its personal conduct policy, may make the decision to discipline Rice. This policy allows the NFL to suspend a player in legal trouble, regardless of the legal outcome. Ravens manager Ozzie Newsome has called the events surrounding Rice’s arrest “concerning.” The team will let the legal process play out before making any decisions. Newsome said, “I think John [Harbaugh] said it best [Friday] — we will let facts determine what the consequences will be.”
Superstar Ray Rice was a role model to many and this controversy will be detrimental to his public image. Ravens fan and governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, says he feels a “tremendous amount of disappointment” in Rice. The league, the Ravens and Ray Rice will be waiting for the case to play out in the legal system and this process will directly determine Rice’s
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