A new report says that Ray Rice could be reinstated to the NFL inside a month. Rice was ‘suspended indefinitely’ after a video of him dragging his unconscious fiance from an elevator was released to the public, but ‘indefinitely’ may be coming to an end already, it seems.
Ray Rice was suspended for two games after the incident in a casino, where security cameras bore witness to an assault on then-fiance, now-wife, Janay Rice. The NFL was roundly criticized by many for the punishment, which was compared to more severe punishments applied to players caught with marijuana and many said that Rice got off too easily.
Then, TMZ obtained the video and released it publicly. For the first time, people were able to judge for themselves how brutal Rice’s actions were, rather than listening to descriptions. The NFL changed positions, suspending Rice ‘indefinitely,’ and announcing a zero-tolerance position on domestic abuse cases going forward.
When blowback came over the timing (memes read, “Remember, Ray Rice wasn’t suspended when Roger Goodell saw the video. He was suspended when YOU saw it.”), NFL Commissioner Goodell maintained firmly that he had not seen the Ray Rice video himself until it was publicly released.
Goodell was further criticized, and at least one NFL sponsor was the subject of a social media campaign to end sponsorship unless Goodell stepped down. Cover Girl was running a series of ads saying ‘Get your game face on’ and depicting women with team-themed makeup, and a Twitter campaign Photoshopped those billboards to look as though the subjects were using makeup to cover signs of abuse instead, beginning with Ray Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens.
In addition to that campaign, #GOODELLMUSTGO banners were flown over several stadiums that weekend by a women’s advocacy group, Ultra Violet. Though protests have died down, Rice’s reinstatement could rouse negative feelings against the NFL all over again.
Now, reports say that Rice could be back on the field inside a month. According to CBS Sports, Rice has an appeal hearing coming up soon and could have a response to his appeal by mid-November. The word is that Rice’s defense will be that even under new no-tolerance rules, his suspension should be for a maximum of six weeks.
If Ray Rice is reinstated, it’s speculated that many teams may find him too controversial to risk, but if not, Rice could join a team and be back on the field in a very short time.
[Photo Credit: sportpeaks.com, Keith Allison ]