NFL Under Intense Scrutiny After Handling of Ray Rice Domestic Abuse Case.

The Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates is a Boston personal injury law firm. Our injury attorneys have many years of legal experience and a national reputation for achieving sensational results for our injured clients.  Our Massachusetts sexual harassment and domestic abuse lawyer specialists will work diligently to ensure that you receive the monetary compensation that justice calls for.  Please do not hesitate to make a call to 617-787-3700, 24/7, or email today for your free and confidential consultation.

On the night of February 15, 2014, NFL star running back Ray Rice was staying at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  He was with his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.  That night, an incident took place that would eventually call into question not only Rice’s football career and reputation, but that of the NFL as well.

The day after the incident, video footage was released on the internet that showed Rice pulling an unconscious Palmer from a hotel elevator.  Though the circumstances were then unknown, there was speculation that the cause of her injuries was domestic abuse.  In late July of 2014, the Baltimore Ravens running back was suspended by the NFL for two games of the regular season after being found to have violated the league’s conduct policy.  Because the details of the incident were not yet known to the public, the outcry was relatively meager.  Many pundits criticized Commissioner Roger Goodell for being too lenient, however, especially in light of some of the recent drug policy violations and suspensions that were meted out as a result.  These suspensions ranged anywhere from four games to an entire season.  As far as Rice and the NFL were concerned, however, the worst was yet to come.

On September 8, 2014, the celebrity news organization called TMZ released a video that showed the actual events of February 15th from inside the elevator.  Before 9:00 am eastern time, the video of Rice’s inexcusable conduct had gone viral.  The video shows Rice and Palmer entering the elevator together.  Then, once the doors have closed in front of them, Rice says something to her, evidently in an angry tone, and then spits on her.  Palmer reacts by half-heartedly slapping her 215-pound fiancée in the face.  She then walks toward him angrily.  Disgustingly, Rice reaches back with his left arm and punches Janay in the face.  The hit is powerful.  Janay’s head jerks back and hits the side of the elevator with alarming force, and she is rendered unconscious.  When the elevator doors open, Rice drags and kicks his fiancee’s motionless body out onto the floor.

After seeing this shockingly graphic video, there was a tidal wave of outrage and criticism from the public and the media.  Many called for the Commissioner’s resignation, hoping that a change of regime would call attention to the plight of abused women everywhere.  Yet no firings have taken place.  Instead, Rice was released by his team, the Baltimore Ravens, and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.  Incredibly, Rice has appealed his suspension, and is considering filing a lawsuit against the league for “double jeopardy.” 

Controversy continues to brew over whether or not Roger Goodell had access to the latest video when he ordered Rice’s original two game suspension in July.  An independent investigation regarding the Rice case has been launched by the NFL and is currently being overseen by ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Despite Ray Rice’s celebrity status, his behavior and actions, sadly, reflect that of many American men who do not treat their loved ones with the respect and care that they deserve.  Domestic abuse is an extremely serious problem that must be brought to light.  The effects on the victim can be mentally and physically scarring. 

If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual harassment or domestic abuse, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call our Boston attorneys at 617-787-3700.  We are also available, 24/7, by email at  The burden of these terrible ordeals can often be too much to bear.  We can help lighten the load during these difficult times.  Your needs are our top priority!

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