Ray Rice has been fired by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the National Football League after a violent video of the athlete attacking his fiancée in an elevator was posted online.
TMZ Sports obtained surveillance video footage from inside the elevator and released it Monday morning. The graphic video shows Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in what appears to be an unprovoked incident. Rice is seen dragging her out of the elevator.
Within hours, the Ravens announced that Rice’s contract was terminated, and an NFL spokesman tweeted that Commissioner Roger Goodell indefinitely suspended Rice – who was initially only penalized with a two-game suspension.
Roger Goodell has announced that based on new video evidence that became available today he has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice.— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) September 8, 2014
Less than two weeks ago, Goodell overhauled the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in a move many saw as reactionary to the backlash the league received for its leniency with Rice’s previous punishment. Goodell admitted he "didn’t get it right" in penalizing the now-suspended running back. The new domestic abuse policy includes a minimum six-month suspension for first-time offenders and banishment for repeat offenders.
Several media personalities expressed frustration over what appeared to be an initial lack of transparency on behalf of the NFL. Before suspending Rice, the NFL said in a statement that it had not previously seen the footage until its public release on Monday morning.
Peter King, editor-in-chief of The MMQB, posted a statement to the site on Monday that said earlier this year, an "impeccable" source told him "league officials had to have seen" the tape of Rice hitting Palmer, which he had previously reported.
"No one from the league has ever knocked down my report to me, and so I was surprised to see the claim today that league officials have not seen the tape," King wrote.
ESPN’s Jane McManus tweeted that she, too, was told months ago the NFL had seen the tape, but according to her timeline, it should not have taken the NFL seeing video footage to boot Rice.
Re Ray Rice knockout punch: I was told NFL had access to same evidence the police did when evaluating a 2-game suspension.— Jane McManus (@janesports) September 8, 2014
Rice should have been suspended based on what happened, not on the release of a video. #nfl— Jane McManus (@janesports) September 8, 2014
Deadspin has two clips of a visibly angry ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, calling the incident a case he doesn’t know if "anybody has ever seen."
NFL players, both current and former, took to Twitter Monday to express their disgust over the video footage. USA Today rounded up some tweets even before more news about Rice broke.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley tweeted about the video, calling it "horrible, shocking, and reprehensible." He also tweeted a link to the state's efforts to stop violence against women.
Learn about what Maryland is doing to reduce violence against women and children: https://t.co/bJueK7GXKV. (3/3)— Martin O'Malley (@GovernorOMalley) September 8, 2014
Throughout the day Monday, Twitter users – some with more than two million followers, like Seth Rogen – used the social media site to discuss their disdain for the way the NFL handled the situation.
Hey, someone tell the Ravens that in the NFL you're supposed to feign outrage BEFORE the video review.— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) September 8, 2014
Yes, the video is shocking. But we'd seen the aftermath. What did the NFL think happened in that elevator--a mild verbal disagreement?— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) September 8, 2014
If the NFL saw the video, they lied. If they didn't, they're incompetent. Pick one.— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) September 8, 2014
I don't know much about football, but I know that Ray Rice is a piece of garbage who shouldn't be allowed to play it professionally anymore.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) September 8, 2014