Would a future domestic violence incident involving Ray Rice result in a lifetime ban for the Ravens’ running back? That remained uncertain. I received the following response from an NFL spokesman Thursday, when asked if Rice would be categorized as a second-time offender if involved in another incident, and if the league considered increasing Rice’s two-game suspension to six games.
“We are not going to address that,” an NFL spokesman replied by email. “Each case will be addressed individually on its merits.”
As it stands, Rice’s suspension remains at two games, so he will miss Weeks 1 and 2 when the Ravens host the Bengals (Sept. 7) and Steelers (Sept. 11). A six-game suspension would have delayed Rice’s return until October. And moving forward, all players, coaches, league personnel, and owners know that two-game suspensions regarding domestic violence incidents are over.
The NFL Players Association issued a statement Thursday, responding to Goodell increasing the penalty for domestic violence offenders. Below is that statement:
"We were informed today of the NFL’s decision to increase penalties on domestic violence offenders under the Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees. As we do in all disciplinary matters, if we believe that players’ due process rights are infringed upon during the course of discipline, we will assert and defend our members’ rights.”