NFL makes poor decision in Ray Rice ban, fails to prevent future abuse


Andrew Lubbers, Reporter

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently gave Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice a two game suspension for punching and knocking out his wife in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February. Many players and analysts have publicly stated that they believe his punishment should be more severe. Goodell, however, claims this punishment keeps consistent with past offenses. Should the suspension last longer, shorter, or is it a perfect fit for this incident?

When I, like many other sports fans, watched the video of Rice dragging his wife out of the elevator after knocking her unconscious, I felt only disgust. This video played everywhere, on sports networks, news networks, and entertainment shows. Millions viewed the video.

The league should have suspended Rice for longer than two games if they wanted to save face. The NFL let Rice off with a small punishment that does not fit the crime. With an opportunity to make a stand and potentially end domestic violence in sports, the NFL faltered.

Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall tallied nine reports of domestic violence towards women against him. How did the NFL punish him? A laughable one game suspension in 2008. After serving the suspension, he continued to violate the NFL’s conduct policy by physically abusing his significant other.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in 2009, and again, to a different woman in 2010. After the second offense, Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for four games. History shows that if the punishment is light, players will continue act wrongly off the field. But if the punishment is harsh, it could settle the problem.

That is why the NFL should have issued a harder offense on Rice. Other players would have recognized the consequences of his wrongdoings, and used their heads in similar situations. If he was given an eight, or 10 game suspension, the issue of domestic violence would be annihilated.