behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
People in Maryland and all over the country have been transfixed on the story of Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was recently banned from the NFL and cut from the team after graphic footage of Rice knocking his wife unconscious with a punch in a hotel elevator surfaced in media outlets. The story has taken many twists and turns, and has led many concerned fans and observers to criticize the NFL for not doing enough to combat the scourge of domestic abuse.
The original altercation between Rice and his wife took place in a casino in Atlantic City on February 15th. Shortly afterwards, media jumped on camera footage of Rice dragging the body of his unconscious wife from the elevator, and Rice was charged with third-degree assault, a charge which could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Rice was originally suspended by the NFL for two games after agreeing to seek counseling and participate in a criminal diversion case which would have allowed him to get his charges dismissed.
But up until recently the public had not seen the events that transpired in the elevator itself. The bombshell video shows unequivocal evidence of Rice punching his wife, with her subsequently falling to the ground, hitting her head on a rail on the way down. Given the shocking violence on display, NFL and team officials decided to cut ties with Rice, perhaps for good.
Rice and his wife have attended counseling, and she has publicly defended her husband despite being the victim of the brutal attack. The emotions of domestic abuse are very complex. In some cases, victims of domestic abuse do cling to their abuser, but in many others, the victim files for divorce or obtains a protective order. The spotlight is now on the problem of domestic abuse, and everyone hopes the NFL and others take the necessary steps to punish perpetrators of domestic violence.
Source: ABC News “Janay Rice, the Woman Who Is Defending Ray Rice,” Meghan Keneally, Sept. 9, 2014