Ray Rice will receive only a two game suspension from the NFL for knocking his wife cold during a domestic violence incident, a decision that has outraged a lot of people, and indirectly led to several media figures getting into all sorts of hot water themselves.
Per a New York Post report, Rice’s wife Janay Palmer Rice played a pivotal role in securing this relatively light punishment for Rice. Jonathan Lehman says Mrs. Rice made an “impassioned plea” before commissioner Roger Goodell on behalf of her husband, and this ultimately swayed Goodell enough to spare Rice from harsher consequences.
The exact nature of Mrs. Rice’s words have not been reported, but Peter King says she asked Goodell not to “ruin Ray’s image and career.”
I think Ray has been doing a good enough job of ruining his image and career by himself. Speaking of people ruining their image and career, have we heard enough from people like Stephen A. Smith on this matter?
Like it or not, the debate will go on about Rice’s relatively light punishment and how it fits into the overall NFL disciplinary picture. There’s no question the NFL has taken a PR hit, especially among women, by their perceived leniency with Rice when compared to the punishments doled out for other less-serious offenses.
Whatever Goodell’s reasons for going easy on Rice, someone forgot to factor in the potential backlash when the suspension length was decided upon. The whole point of punishing players for their off-field conduct is to protect the image of the league, correct? If Goodell made his decision by putting Rice’s image above the NFL’s, well, then he really has it backward.