Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended for the first 2 games of this year’s season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following an altercation with then-fiancée Janay Palmer at a hotel in February. “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously. My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.” Rice is eligible to participate in training camp and all of Baltimore’s preseason games.
“The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game,”NFL commish Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to rice”This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate. I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career, I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations.”
Rice allegedly beat Palmer unconscious in a casino elevator in Atlantic City, N.J. The couple has since married. Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault.
“We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair. We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”