NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, facing criticism he did not punish Ray Rice enough for knocking out his then-fiancee and dragging her unconscious body into a casino hotel lobby, expanded his punishment and hit Janay Rice with a $500,000 fine. She will also be banned from attending all Ravens games for the entire 2014 season.
“Many in the media as well as our fans have said that my punishment was too light,” the commissioner wrote in a statement announcing the fine. “After careful deliberation, I found myself agreeing with that assessment. It was unfair to punish Ray and only Ray for this incident when there were two people involved: the puncher and the punchee. Therefore, today I am announcing that Janay Rice (nee Palmer) will be fined $500,000 for putting the NFL in a negative light with her actions in going unconscious.”
Goodell also ordered that Rice’s wife pay her fine out of her own money and “not your husband’s, who has already been punished far beyond what he really deserves, considering you provoked him.”
The commissioner also admitted that the NFL has no actual authority to fine Janay Rice, who is not a player, league employee or partner, but said that she “should pay if she knows what’s good for her.”
Goodell then stressed that his ruling is now final and will not be amended again. The Ravens, however, are still hoping he will reconsider.
“One punch and Janay went down? Come on,” said a front office source. “Seems like a dive to me. The league is going soft.”
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