Ray Rice is a victim of double jeopardy [Letter]

September 13, 2014

This Ray Rice incident has been a debacle. NFL management denies seeing the film of Mr. Rice striking his now wife in the elevator. Yet receipt of the video was apparently confirmed by an NFL employee.

It is interesting how the NFL and the Ravens violated a basic principle of workplace discipline. It's called double jeopardy.

Double jeopardy occurs when an employee has been disciplined for an infraction and then a few months later the management decides the disciplinary action was not severe enough and enacts a more severe penalty.

In Ray Rice's situation, he was suspended for rendering his then-fiancée unconscious. Many people disagreed with the length of the suspension, but right or wrong that was the NFL's decision. Time passed and then a film of what transpired in the elevator surfaced. Mr. Rice has now been fired from his job and indefinitely suspended from future employment in the NFL.

But it was known at the time of his suspension that he had struck her. Was he fired and indefinitely suspended because the film showed what was previously known?

Except for the union representing the NFL players, I know of no union or grievance committee that would allow double jeopardy to occur.

Experts say that Mrs. Rice's defending her husband is typical of how battered wives behave. What if Mrs. Rice is telling the truth that this is a single event? Does a single event, standing by itself, warrant the virtual execution of Ray Rice's economic life? If it was a single event, does it warrant the actions of his high school and college? Does it warrant the Ravens and retailers exchanging his shirts and other Rice memorabilia?

It appears in the film she spit at him and struck him several times before he hit her, causing her head to hit the elevator wall. I suggest they both need counseling. I also suggest they be left alone to allow them to move on with their lives.

Ron Basener, Bel Air

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