The Baltimore Ravens announced on Monday (September 8) that they have cut running back Ray Rice from the team following the release of footage that showed the football star striking his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer and knocking her unconscious.
After the Ravens made their announcement via Twitter, the NFL PR rep Greg Aiello announced that the league has suspended Rice indefinitely.
The decision came hours after TMZ released surveillance footage of the attack. The incident occurred in the elevator of an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel back on February 15. At the time, video surfaced of the aftermath of the attack, as Rice appeared to pull an unconscious Palmer from the elevator. But a newly-released and edited version of the tape shows Rice entering the elevator with Palmer, whom he married after the attack.
The 206-pound running back strikes his now-wife and she appears to strike him back, before he delivers a blow to her face, which causes her to knock her head on an elevator hand rail and fall unconscious. Rice then tries to drag Palmer out of the elevator, before he is stopped by what appears to be a hotel security guard.
In May, Rice entered a pretrial diversion program, which will allow him to avoid a formal prosecution if he attends the program for one year. If he completes the program, the aggravated assault charges will be dismissed, while the arrest will stay on his record. He was suspended by the NFL for two games in July and fined for more than $500,000.
There were many critics who questioned whether the NFL's punishment was enough and after admitting that he "didn't get it right," league commissioner Roger Goodell revamped the league's policy on domestic abuse earlier this summer. Still, many felt Rice got off too easy. Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton was among the most vocal.
Seth Rogen and Ja Rule also weighed in.
This morning many questioned whether the NFL could punish Rice twice for the same incident. Sports analyst Adam Schefter appeared on ESPN this morning and explained how the language in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement would make it difficult to hand down a more severe punishment after already making a decision.