Democratic Senator Calls For Stiffer Punishment After Video Shows Ray Rice Punching His Wife

The outrage over the full video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then fiancee in the head has spread to Washington, DC. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for NFL to impose a stiffer penalty on the woman beater.

In a statement, Blumenthal said, “The video released today emphasizes how egregiously weak and wrong the initial penalty against Ray Rice was – as the Commissioner has acknowledged – and it constitutes new, powerful evidence that requires the Commissioner to reconsider and reach a stronger punishment. The NFL took a positive step forward with its new policy on domestic violence, but in the wake of this new video, allowing Ray Rice to take the field after only a two-game suspension would be a disappointing step backwards.”

Warning: the video is graphic. It shows Rice knocking is then fiancee unconscious with a single punch to the face:

The NFL claims that they never saw the video before it was obtained and published by TMZ, but this is a claim that is doubted by anyone that is familiar with the league’s investigative process. The NFL’s first mistake was handing down only a two game ban for domestic violence. The commissioner’s second mistake was his publicity campaign where he tried to justify the light punishment. The most popular sports league in the country could have sent a powerful message about how domestic violence won’t be tolerated in our society. Instead, they reinforced the misogyny, and allowed the Baltimore Ravens to explain away the incident by discussing what a good guy Ray Rice is.

Since of the release of the video, the NFL looks like a league that thinks drug use is a bigger crime than a professional athlete knocking a woman unconscious. Some men are stepping up to the plate. ESPN’s Bill Simmons told Ravens to release Ray Rice immediately, or they are cowards.

The Ravens have released Rice, but that only means that he is free to sign with another team. In short, Ray Rice can beat his wife and still play football.

Terrance Knighton of the Denver Broncos wants Ray Rice thrown out of the NFL and thrown into jail:

Former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita tweeted:

There is no excuse for domestic violence ever. The men who are excusing what Ray Rice did are disgusting animals who will hopefully never be close enough to a woman to cause her harm. The NFL must do more, or else they will be guilty of legitimizing the culture of domestic violence in this country.

Terrance Knighton had it right. Ray Rice should never have been allowed to participate in a pretrial diversion program that upon completion will dismiss his assault charge. Rice belongs in jail. Until this society prioritizes the punishment of those who commit acts of domestic violence, women will continue to be beaten or die every day.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ray Rice have become a mirror for the attitude out domestic violence, and here is hoping that the American people are disgusted by what they are seeing.

Jason Easley

Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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