New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NFL has banned Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the first two games of this season for violating the League’s personal conduct policy after he was arrested for domestic violence in the offseason.
Aside from suspension, the NFL has fined Rice a total of $529,411.24 — the combined total of two games checks for this year and one check from last season — but is eligible to participate in training camp and all of Baltimore’s preseason games.
Last February, Rice made the headlines after he allegedly struck Palmer unconscious on Feb. 15 while in a casino elevator in Atlantic City.
Video surfaced online showing Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of the elevator. The couple has since married.
Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and avoided trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this.”
“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident,” Rice said. “I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed Rice of the league’s decision in a letter, saying that the league expects the three-time Pro Bowler to continue to attend counseling.
“The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public, and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game,” Goodell wrote in his letter to Rice.
“This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women,” Goodell added.
Rice will begin serving his suspension Aug. 30, and he will be eligible for reinstatement Sept. 12, the day after Baltimore plays a Thursday night game in Week 2 against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rice also will miss the Ravens’ season opener against another division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals.