Ravens, NFL overreacted to Ray Rice video [Letter]

September 14, 2014

In the matter of Ray Rice, it seems like every spokesperson for the Ravens organization has lost their ability to think logically and analytically about what just happened.

Let's look at a few simple facts: First, the release of the elevator video did not make things worse than they were. Second, the judicial system in New Jersey took carefully considered measures against Mr. Rice long ago and, third, the punishment then meted out by the NFL and the Ravens far exceeds the NFL's own standard for a first offense.

As one who abhors domestic violence, I cannot condone what Mr. Rice did. But please: Give him the punishment he deserves, not some grotesque modern-day equivalent of pillorying him in the market square.

If the NFL uses this as a platform for gratuitous publicity, shame on it. But the Ravens should have stood by Mr. Rice, insisted that he got a six-game suspension and him with the unenviable task of repairing the damage to his life and reputation.

Inviting fans to trade in Rice jerseys comes across as a publicity stunt, not as an honest attempt at comforting people shocked by a video. Yes, it was really bad; yes he should pay and atone, as the New Jersey judicial system is making him do; and yes, he deserved a six- rather than two-game suspension if that's now the standard.

But what he got was a complete overreaction on the part of the owner and leadership of the Ravens. It was unworthy, and I am deeply disappointed.

Gislin Dagnelie, Baltimore

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