Posted on September 08, 2014 at 12:12 pm
Football season has started, but questions from this summer’s Ray Rice controversy continue to linger. Rice, the 27-year-old running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was caught on tape earlier this year dragging his unconscious then-fianceé and now-wife Janay Palmer out of an elevator in Atlantic City’s Revel Casino. Shortly thereafter, Rice was indicted by a grand jury for aggravated assault. In July, the NFL announced that Rice’s punishment would be a two-game suspension, a grossly inadequate response amounting to little more than a slap on the wrist.
Following considerable backlash – including an op-ed by Women Against Abuse Executive Director Jeannine L. Lisitski in the Philadelphia Inquirer last month – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league “didn’t get it right” in its handling of the Rice case, and issued new, harsher guidelines for responding to domestic violence cases in the future.
Today, TMZ released the full video of Rice’s attack on Palmer. The footage shows him punching her and her falling to the floor. This graphic, upsetting video has raised further questions about the adequacy of the NFL’s response to this public health epidemic. An astounding one in three American women experience the kind of physical violence that Janay Palmer suffered from an intimate partner. To their credit, following the release of the video, the Ravens cut Rice from their squad and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
In response to the NFL’s recent actions, the National Network to End Domestic Violence has started a petition asking the league to reinforce its commitment to ending domestic violence by “going purple” (the color of the anti-domestic violence movement) for Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October. Sign the petition here!