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Roger Goodell Defends Ray Rice Punishment

Sat, 02 Aug 2014 05:56:00 +0000

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(CANTON, Ohio) -- There has been much criticism that the NFL's two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for domestic violence is too short, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the punishment is "consistent" with previous sanctions issued by the league.

"We have a very firm policy that domestic violence is not acceptable in the NFL, and there are consequences for that," Goodell said while speaking at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Friday. "Obviously, when we are going through the process of evaluating an issue and whether there will be discipline, you look at all of the facts that are available to us."
Some questioned why Rice's suspension was two games when Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger received a four game suspension in 2010 for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.

Goodell brought up the fact that Rice has an unblemished track record, something the NFL takes into account when handing out suspensions.

"If it's their first offense, someone who has had a strong background of being very responsible in the community and doing the right things and not violating either policies or anything else that would reflect poorly on the NFL, then we take that into account," Goodell said. "When there's a pattern, we also take that into account on the other side."

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