After the fallout the NFL received from only suspending Ravens running back Ray Rice two games for a domestic violence incident involving his now-wife, commissioner Roger Goodell has changed the way the league will approach these issues in the future.
On Thursday, Goodell sent out a letter to all 32 NFL owners on the matter. In it, Goodell states that those that are first-time offenders in domestic violence cases will receive a six-game suspension. Those involved in a second incident will be banned for life.
Goodell also acknowledged that he made a mistake in how he handled Rice's discipline.
“We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place,” Goodell wrote. “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right.”
Though Rice only received a two-game suspension, it would be safe to assume he's considered a first-time offender given that this new policy can now be considered the Ray Rice Rule.
When it comes to player being banished for life from the NFL, there is a caveat involved. Players will be eligible to apply for reinstatement after the first year of the suspension is finished. However, there will be no guarantee that the request is fulfilled.
Goodell took a lot of heat for not doing much about Rice's domestic abuse incident. This is a positive step forward. Goodell admitted his mistake and, theoretically, no other player will be able to get off easy like Rice did.
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