Ray Rice cut by Ravens, suspended by NFL after punching video

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has kayoed his career with a vile left hook to his fiancée’s face.

The onetime Rutgers University star from New Rochelle was sacked by his team — and suspended indefinitely by the NFL — after a horrific new video emerged Monday showing him decking Janay Palmer in a casino elevator.

“The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice’s contract this afternoon,” the team announced in a terse tweet.

Less than an hour later, an NFL spokesman tweeted that pro-football commissioner Roger Goodell had given the three-time Pro Bowler the boot.

“Roger Goodell has announced that based on new video evidence that became available today he has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice,” Greg Aiello wrote.

The double hit on Rice came amid renewed outrage over the way the NFL has handled the scandal — and before Ravens coach John Harbaugh personally lowered the boom on the 27-year-old running back.

Rice, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four straight seasons for the Ravens, was already in the doghouse after a disappointing 2013 season during which he gained 660 yards and scored just four touchdowns.

There was no immediate comment from Rice. But Rutgers has removed Rice from its list of “Knights in the NFL” and the suspension means he may never play NFL football again.

“It means no team can sign him at this point,” a league insider said. “To be reinstated, he has to go through the league.”

The new footage showing Rice slugging Palmer was posted by TMZ.com on Monday and sent shockwaves across the NFL.

“That man should be thrown out the … nfl and thrown into jail,” Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton tweeted. “Shame on those deciding his punishment.”

A MARCH 11, 2013 FILE PHOTOPatrick Semansky/AP Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, his wife, Janay Palmer, and their daughter, Rayven, arrive at a screening for a film on the team’s championship season.

Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita also vented on Twitter.

“This piece of s— needs to be out of the league. Period.”

Goodell and the NFL had taken heat earlier for suspending Rice for just two games after the first batch of footage emerged last month showing the player dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.

Confronted with the new video, Goodell insisted through a spokesman that he had never seen it before.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” Aiello said. “That video was not made available to us. And no one in our office has seen it until today.”

The Atlantic County prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the video or on the NFL’s claim that its officials never saw it.

But an Atlantic City Police statement, issued after the Feb. 15 beatdown at the Revel Casino, made it clear that investigators had eyeballed the fracas footage.

“After reviewing surveillance footage it appeared both parties were involved in a physical altercation,” the statement said. “The complaint summons indicates that both (Rice) and Palmer struck each other with their hands. The responding officer signed a simple assault complaint against both Rice and Palmer.”

Rice and Palmer are now married.

At the time, Rice’s lawyer, Andrew Alperstein, called what happened a “very minor physical altercation.” The shocking
video obtained by TMZ.com clearly says otherwise.

It shows — within seconds of the elevator doors closing — Palmer approaching Rice and the running back knocking her out with a southpaw shot to the chin.

Palmer then falls to the ground. When the doors reopen, Rice drags her unconscious body into the hallway, where they are met by a security guard.

Video showing what happened from that point on went viral after Rice and Palmer were both charged with domestic violence-simple assault and released with a summons.

Goodell took so much heat for his light two-game suspension of Rice that on Aug. 29 he instituted a new domestic abuse policy, whereby a first-time offender would get a six-game suspension and a second offense could lead to a lifetime ban.

In a memo to owners, Goodell admitted he “didn’t get it right” when it came to Rice’s slap on the wrist and added, “Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances.”

Rice was on his suspension Sunday when the Ravens opened their season with a 23-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Earlier, on May 20, Rice was accepted into a one-year pretrial intervention program to avoid aggravated assault charges.

On that day, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said: “This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation.”

Team Rice was also pleased with the deal. And three days later, Rice’s now-wife posted her own Tweet.

“Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident,” she wrote.

But in an earlier Tweet from May 5, Rice gave little sign that he’d learned anything after being punished for punching out the woman he supposedly loves.

“I never really talk about the lockout but damn I’m ready to play some football,” he wrote. “I Need to hit somebody lol.”

With John Marzulli and Edgar Sandoval



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