Neither was video that emerged earlier this year of the same incident — footage that showed Rice dragging Palmer (now Janay Rice) from the elevator callously, kicking her, and nearly letting the elevator doors close on her unconscious body.
But the images of a limp Rice after her husband punched her in the face, causing her head to hit a railing, didn’t spur much change within the NFL when it comes to dealing with players involved in domestic violence disputes.
As a result, Rice was given a lenient two-game suspension — a disciplinary action now scrutinized as new information suggests league officials knew about the entire video (including the physical altercation) before making their decision. The Baltimore Ravens still supported Rice. Sponsors were still dedicated. And the third-degree aggravated assault felony charge only led to Rice entering a divisionary program that would allow him to avoid trial.
But with the emergence of the newest elevator video, officials involved in the business that is Ray Rice have finally taken notice. Whether a financial decision or one that makes a statement about the intolerance of domestic violence, the league and other companies began their process of erasing Rice from the football world.
Our only question — why did it take the latest video of the brutal attack to make these necessary decisions?
On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract. The NFL also suspended Rice indefinitely, a decision Ravens coach John Harbaugh said was solely based on the new video (not the one of Rice dragging his nearly lifeless fiancée out of an elevator).
“It’s something we saw for the first time today … all of us … and it changed things. Of course it made things a little bit different,” he said.
League officials deny knowing anything about the video released on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that fans will be able to exchange their Ray Rice jerseys in the wake of his violent actions.
The Baltimore Ravens will offer an exchange for Ray Rice jerseys at stadium stores. Details to come.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 9, 2014
Because let’s face it, who wants to wear the jersey of a man who cold-cocked the woman he loves in the face? Rice’s jerseys were pulled off the shelves at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modells, and the NFL Shop. And a Baltimore-area pizza shop has also joined the cause, offering free pizza in exchange for some new toilet paper.
According to ESPN, Ray Rice is no longer a Nike athlete. Seriously.
Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirmed to ESPN.com that as of noon ET Tuesday, the former Ravens running back, who had an active deal with the company, was no longer on the roster of the world’s largest sports shoe and apparel maker.
They aren’t the only ones:
Rice lost another endorsement deal from a jump training program called VertiMax. VertiMax CEO Michael Wehrell initially stood by Rice in February, after the first video of Rice dragging his then-fiancee out of an Atlantic City casino elevator emerged. On Monday, Wehrell said his company decided to cut its association with Rice in June. “After internal discussion about the events that transpired, we determined that a future relationship with Ray did not align with our goals as a company,” Wehrell said in a statement.
We’re sure more will follow.
His Alma Mater:
Rutgers University has started the process of separating from Rice by removing his images from videos shown at home games.
“The video I saw this morning was difficult to watch as a husband and a father. There is nothing that can justify what I saw on that video,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said, NJ.com reported.
“Family is family. But at Rutgers we hold ourselves to an extremely high standard,” Flood said. “And we expect a lot out of our players. We expect a lot of our coaches and our staff members we have here in the Hale Center. And we expect a lot of our alumni and because of those expectations this is a sad day.”
Rice was also removed from a list of current NFL players on the ‘Knights in the NFL’ weekly seen here.
And then there was this:
With Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL, he will be removed from Madden NFL 15. The roster change will take place by this Friday.
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) September 9, 2014
Just to put things in perspective, EA Sports also removed ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez after he was accused of murder. So…there’s that.