Roger Goodell, whose short and controversial suspension of Ravens RB Ray Rice left many feeling unsatisfied and downright bitter, now has the United States Senate asking him to impose a harsher penalty.
Three United States Senators have sent letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing their disappointment in the two-game suspension – seen as too short by many critics – over an alleged assault on his former-girlfriend, now-wife Janay Palmer.
The three Senators, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have called on Goodell to impose a harsher punishment on Rice.
Ryan Wilson of CBSSports reported that the letter stated: “The decision to suspend Mr. Rice for a mere two games sends the inescapable message that the NFL does not take domestic or intimate-partner violence with the seriousness they deserve.
“Mr. Rice’s suspension reflects a disturbingly lenient, even cavalier attitude towards violence against women. We therefore urge you to take two steps immediately. First, reconsider and revise Mr. Rice’s suspension to more adequately reflect the seriousness of his offense. We are also writing to the Baltimore Ravens to request that they impose additional discipline under their own authority, but it is imperative that the NFL itself makes clear that this conduct is truly unacceptable.”
Goodell has made no indications recently of any plans to amend the punishment for Rice. Representatives of the league have called the punishment appropriate.
Rice has publicly apologized repeatedly for the incident and has pledged to raise awareness for physical abuse.
Rice has been the starting RB for the Ravens since 2009. He has made the Pro Bowl three times and was Second Team All-Pro in 2009 and 2011.