Ray Rice and Domestic Violence

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Ray Rice is an American football player.  On February 15, 2014, Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer were arrested and charged with assault after a physical altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Celebrity news website TMZ.com posted a video of Rice striking Palmer in an elevator, apparently knocking her out, and then dragging her body out of the lift. The Ravens issued a statement following TMZ's release of the video, calling Rice's domestic violence arrest a "serious matter". The matter is being handled by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

For the incident, Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season. The criminal charges were later dropped after Rice agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling. In a news conference announcing longer suspension lengths for future domestic violence incidents, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he "didn't get it right" in deciding Rice's punishment.

On September 8, 2014, TMZ released additional footage from an elevator camera showing Rice punching Palmer. The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice's contract as a result. Shortly afterward, Goodell announced that Rice had been suspended from the NFL indefinitely.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • What punishment do you think is appropriate in this situation?
  • What role do you think the video should play in determining punishment?
  • Should consequences for professional atheletes be different than for others?
  • Was it acceptable for TMZ to publish these videos?
  • Should Janay's wishes in this situation affect legal and/or professional consquences?