The Baltimore Ravens and NFL responded on Monday to a video showing Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an elevator, releasing Rice from his contract and suspending him indefinitely from the league.
Now, the players union is speaking up.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated:
“I was one of the last people to see the video, because I was on a plane flying out at oh-dark-thirty this morning, and I saw the video when I landed,” Smith said. “And yes, the video is disturbing. As a father, as a husband — when you see something like that, it’s jarring. It’s disturbing. For our union and for our players, it’s one of those things where you at least try to look at something positive. And that is the reminder how unacceptable any kind of violence, especially domestic violence, should be. It has no place in our lives, and certainly in our community. And that’s where we are right now.
“The video is really all the information I’ve seen. I did learn on the way over to the facility about Mr. Rice being released, and have not yet talked to [NFL Commissioner] Roger [Goodell] about any other discipline. I did hear that [Rice had been suspended], but I tend to rely on the Commissioner and learning all the facts first-hand. That’s what we’ll do, and once we know what those facts are, that will dictate our next steps.”
It’s a union’s duty to represent its players and ensure that they’re treated fairly. That said, it’s unclear what it could, or would do, about the discipline levied against Rice on Monday. Many, myself included, would argue there isn’t anything they should do, either.
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