The Baltimore Ravens cut running back Ray Rice on Monday, hours after TMZ published a new video of Rice knocking his fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious. The NFL has also suspended him indefinitely.
Rice was serving a two-game suspension for the incident. The brevity of the suspension was heavily criticised, especially in light of the new video.
The team announced the decision on Twitter:
Rice was arrested on aggravated assault charges after allegedly hitting Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February. He was later accepted into a pretrial diversionary program, and the charges will be dropped upon completion.
Days after his arrest a video of Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of the elevator surfaced online. But it wasn’t until Monday that the world saw the disturbing video of what went on inside the elevator.
Warning: This video is violent. Watch at your own risk.
The NFL said in a statement that no one at the league office saw the new video until TMZ published it.
The outcry over the short length of the suspension prompted commissioner Roger Goodell to strengthen the league’s domestic violence policy. First-time offenders will now be suspended for six games, and repeat offenders will be suspended indefinitely.
“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,” said Goodell. “I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right.”
Many commentators, including ESPN’s top NFL reporter Adam Schefter, called on the NFL to revisit Rice’s suspension in light of the new video.
The Ravens had been supportive of Rice since his arrest.
Rice and Palmer gave an awkward press conference in May where they jointly apologized for the incident. That led to this awful tweet from the Ravens, which is still live:
Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014
In the aftermath of Rice’s press conference, his lawyer floated a hypothetical that Palmer was the aggressor in the alteration. Based on the video from inside the elevator, that was very much not the case.
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