Ray Rice punishment is too harsh [Letter]

September 12, 2014

It's time to stop burning Ray Rice jerseys, take a deep breath and think this through ("Ravens to offer jersey exchange for Ray Rice jerseys at stadium stores," Sept. 9).

Does the Rice family really deserve all this? In my opinion, no, they do not.

What Mr. Rice did is reprehensible, no question. However, the New Jersey legal system reviewed all evidence, upgraded the charge against Mr. Rice from simple assault to aggravated assault and allowed him to plea bargain the case and dropped the simple assault charge against Janay Palmer.

Enter into this mix the video from inside the elevator. According to published reports, the Atlantic City police summons stated that Mr. Rice caused "bodily injury to Janay Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious."

How can a video confirming this information become "new evidence?" What, exactly, did everyone think a video associated with a charge of aggravated assault would look like?

The NFL bungled their handling of the situation by originally giving Mr. Rice just a two game suspension. In the face of a public uproar over this slap on the wrist the suspension for future first-time offenders was extended to six games.

It has been reported that since 2000, 77 NFL players have been involved in 85 domestic violence incidents, with just six players suspended for one game each.

The NFL needs to immediately address their policy on players accused of and/or convicted of domestic violence. As there are varying degrees of crime within the legal system, the NFL should adopt a varying degree of discipline to match the crime. If the policy is to be zero tolerance, it needs to be across the board.

In the meantime, the NFL should rescind the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, allow him to rejoin the Ravens after a six-game suspension.

Peg McCarthy, Cockeysville

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