Baltimore Ravens starting running back, Ray Rice finds himself in a tough situation. A security camera caught Rice dragging his fiancee Janay Palmer’s unconscious body out of a casino elevator. Video shown below.
Rice and Palmer were arrested Saturday for simple assault-domestic violence. The couple got into an argument at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Rice has a court appearance February 25 at 9 a.m.
According to the police report both Rice and Palmer struck each other. The physical altercation seems to have taken place in the casino elevator. However, there is the video showing the aftermath of the altercation. The attorney for Rice, Michael Diamondstein, said that the video is authentic but does not tell the full story. Seeing Palmer’s limp body on camera being drug by Rice may not bode well for him during his court appearance.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be taking a look at the evidence and possibly placing sanctions on Rice based on violations to the NFL’s strict personal conduct policy. In the policy it clearly states that there is no tolerance for players engaging in violent and criminal acts. The NFL has no issue with stating that such behavior makes the league look bad and that it takes such matters very seriously. Perception is king, and any negative perception can cost the league fans which in turn can lead to a loss of revenue.
It seems that there were specific passages written for situations exactly where Rice finds himself today. If the past is any indication of what the future could bring then Rice can expect a fine and/or suspension. In 2010, Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended 6 games for alleged sexual assault in Georgia. The suspension was later dropped to 4 games. Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime. The NFL has broad discretion when it comes to personal conduct. Discipline can include suspensions, fines or banishments from the league regardless if formal charges have been levied.
Given that Rice had his most unproductive season since being drafted, this all comes at a really bad time for him. It is sure the Ravens were looking at Rice’s contract based on his lack of production on the field anyway. Now given there may be a suspension that will keep him out of games next season could be a determining factor for the team to cut ties with him.
The Ravens have faced similar situations where players off the field issues have impacted the team on the field. Back in 2008, then Ravens player, Fabian Washington got suspended for one game without pay. He was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend.
The NFL is a microcosm for everyday life. Individuals face issues and don’t always make the best decisions. Ray Rice is now facing his share under the national microscope. Rice has spoken to Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh but has yet to address the media. However, being caught on camera dragging his unconscious fiancee’s body, probably means there are more important things for Rice to think about than football.
Editorial by Tony Bowers