Politics & Government

Capitol Hill weighs in on NFL player’s suspension, contract termination in wake of domestic assault video

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice smiles before a pre-season game Aug. 23, 2014 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The Ravens fired Rice Monday, Sept. 9, 2014 after TMZ released a video showing Rice knocking his now-wife Janay unconscious in an elevator in February. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT)
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice smiles before a pre-season game Aug. 23, 2014 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The Ravens fired Rice Monday, Sept. 9, 2014 after TMZ released a video showing Rice knocking his now-wife Janay unconscious in an elevator in February. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT) MCT

Decisions by the Baltimore Ravens and the National Football League Monday to terminate star running back Ray Rice’s contract and suspend him indefinitely from playing in the league in the wake of a new video that allegedly shows him punching his then-fiancée, now wife Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator reverberated on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said in a tweet that the video, released by TMZ, should spur prosecutors to see if any new charges should be filed against Rice, who was arrested last February.

Prior to the Ravens cutting ties with Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s indefinite suspension order, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., released a statement calling the NFL’s initial two-game punishment leveled against Rice ‘egregiously weak.’

‘The NFL took a positive step forward with its new policy on domestic violence, but in the wake of this new video, allowing Ray Rice to take the field after only a two-game suspension would be a disappointing step backwards,’ said Blumenthal, a former Connecticut attorney general.

Ironically, the actions against Rice occurred the day before women’s rights activists and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which he introduced in the Senate in 1994.

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