Tag Archives: Baltimore Ravens

Rice got two-game suspension; Brady gets four?

Let’s see if we can sort this out for just a moment.

The National Football League suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after a video showed him punching his then-fiancée — and now his wife — in the face, knocking her out cold in an Atlantic City, N.J. elevator. It then elevated the suspension to “indefinite” status, meaning he would be unable to play pro football in the NFL probably forever.

Rice then appealed his suspension and had it overturned by a federal court. The NFL sought to send a message that it wouldn’t tolerate domestic violence.


It’s the two-game initial suspension that got everyone up in arms. It wasn’t enough, they said.

Now we have New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady getting a four-game suspension. For what? An NFL report says he probably knew something about the deflating of footballs prior to last season’s AFC championship game, which the Pats won by 38 points. There’s been no proof that he did anything wrong. Just a lot of circumstantial stuff.

He’s out four games. Without pay.

The message here? I’m betting the NFL wants to say that it won’t tolerate cheating, so they’re going to make an example of an All-Universe athlete.

But have you noticed Brady’s public demeanor during all of this? He’s looked a bit smug, as if he’s not taking this very seriously.

As my late mother used to say when she scolded me, “Wipe that smirk off your face or I’ll wipe it off for you!”

My hunch is that the NFL is seeking to wipe Brady’s smug look off his face.

Mission accomplished? I think so.


Rice can return … but where?

A judge has ruled that Ray Rice can play football again.

You remember this young man. He punched his then-fiancée in the face, knocked her cold in a New Jersey casino elevator. He then got dumped by the Baltimore Ravens and was suspended indefinitely by the National Football League.

A judge has said the former Ravens running back didn’t like to the NFL and that Commissioner Roger Goodell overstepped his discretion by suspending Rice indefinitely.


Case closed?

Not entirely. Rice is without a team. My question is, who is going to hire a guy with the kind of baggage this young man is packing around?

I wish the suspension had stuck. The NFL is trying to mend its ways regarding domestic violence. The Rice case was thought to be a textbook case of a highly paid pro athlete gone out of control. Rice is one of several who face this kind of scrutiny.

It’s embarrassed the league, Rice’s employer. And speaking of employers, don’t they have the right to insist that the people who work for them behave in a certain manner?

I guess Rice will come back, or will at least attempt to come back.

We’ll see if winning matters more than character.


Hey, Mr. Lewis: Do not speak about criminal cover-up

Ray Lewis was one heck of a football player. He’ll probably be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

He also managed to dodge a serious crime involving a homicide. So, when the subject of another pro athlete getting into trouble with the law, my advice to Lewis is simple: Recuse yourself from any discussion about this issue. Button it up, young man.


Lewis was speaking on ESPN about Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL after a video surfaced showing him cold-cocking his then-fiancée. Here’s Lewis: “When you watch this video, you see that somewhere this young man, some leadership was lost. He got out there … and started doing his own thing and what happens is what’s in the dark is going to come to light.”

He might regret saying anything at all about this case. Why?

Well, in 2000 Lewis was involved in the death of two men at a Super Bowl party. He was charged initially with murder and aggravated assault when the men were stabbed to death. He testified against two other men who also were involved. The murder charges were dropped and Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of — here it comes — obstruction of justice.

Oh, brother.

So now this guy pops off about another out-of-control pro athlete doing something “in the dark” that “is going to come to light.”

Social media went crazy over this little bit of wisdom from someone formerly accused of murder.

ESPN perhaps ought to have known better than to open this discussion in Ray Lewis’s presence. As for Lewis, I believe when the subject comes up again he needs to wave his hands in the air and say, “No mas.”

Rice caught on camera; cut by Ravens, suspended by NFL

Ray Rice doesn’t think so, but it’s a good thing an elevator camera didn’t blink.

It happened to catch the former Baltimore Ravens running back in the act of cold-cocking his then-fiancée — who’s now his wife — in a hotel elevator.


TMZ released copies of the video. The National Football League expressed appropriate outrage. The Ravens released Rice and the league has slapped him with an “indefinite” suspension.

This all comes after the league announced a tough new policy regarding domestic violence and after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — in an extraordinary mea culpa — disclosed that he “got it wrong” when he imposed a two-game suspension on Rice for allegedly beating the woman unconscious.

The camera now has revealed that there’s no “allegedly” about it. He did the deed and has been kicked out of the league presumably for the foreseeable future.

In July, Rice said this about what he did: “I know that’s not who I am as a man. That’s not who my mom raised me to be. If anybody knows me, they know I was raised by a single parent, and that was my mother. I let her down, I let my wife down, I let my daughter down. I let my wife’s parents down. I let the whole Baltimore community down. I let my teammates down. I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back.”

That’s not who he is as a man? Well, I will differ with him on that. The video reveals something quite different.

Yes, he let a lot of people down. Still, he must face the punishment he’s been given.

The Ravens and the NFL have made exactly the right call.


NFL gets it right on domestic abuse

When was the last time you heard a leading public figure who administers a major public and/or entertainment enterprise admit he got something wrong?

It’s been some time, yes?

Well, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell did that very thing today when the league announced a new policy regarding players involved in cases of domestic violence.


This wasn’t a surprise. It was a welcome change nevertheless.

The NFL has instituted a policy of severe punishment for players who beat up their spouses, girlfriends or assorted “loved ones.” The new penalties include a potential lifetime ban from the NFL if the player is caught a second or subsequent time. Initial offenses will result in a suspension of at least six games.

The revised policy comes in the wake of a terrible decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for just two games after he was seen on video beating his then-fiancée unconscious. Rice has since married the woman he beat up.

The so-called “punishment” brought a torrent of criticism on Goodell and the league for tolerating such behavior and for invoking such limited sanction against the offending player.

Goodell said this in response to the Rice sanction: “I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

As of today, the NFL has done better.


Two-game suspension? For this?

Where I come from, beating someone unconscious is a firing offense.

If you’re a National Football League running back, though, you can get off with less than a slap on the wrist.

Ray Rice has been caught on video beating the daylights out of a woman who’s now his wife. The NFL “punished” the Baltimore Ravens running back by forcing him to sit out the first two games of the upcoming season.

Gosh, I hope Rice can recover.


The so-called punishment makes a mockery out of the NFL on a couple of levels. It virtually gives Rice a pass for committing an act of violence against another human being. It also suggests the NFL has an arbitrary and totally uneven policy regarding players who commit serious wrongdoing.

The quarterback Terrelle Pryor received a five-game suspension for getting involved — while he was attending Ohio State University — in a memorabilia scam.

Ray Rice beats his then-girlfriend senseless and he is booted for two games?

What in the world is going on here?

As Mike Lupica writes in the New York Daily News:

“Now Rice gets two games. One of the things we hear is that he had no priors before this incident. Good job, Rice! Only point-missers think that is relevant in the case of a man taking a hand to a woman.

“No one cares whether Rice was a first offender with this incident or not. The offense at hand — and by his hand — is enough. Goodell had the chance to set a proper and strong precedent here and chose not to. Maybe the problem here is that being The Enforcer has turned out to be this kind of job, even as Goodell’s league gets more prosperous and more popular than ever.”

Commissioner Goodell, you’ve got a big problem.