A group of senators sent a letter Thursday to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for a harsher punishment for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Rice was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in New Jersey in which he allegedly physically assaulted his then-fiance, Janay Palmer. He was suspended by the NFL for two games, a lesser sentence than other players received after testing positive for marijuana during the offseason.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called for a harsher punishment for Rice, sending letters on the issue to both Goodell and Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome. In their request to Goodell, the senators also asked for the NFL to improve its procedures to ensure that allegations and evidence of domestic violence are addressed appropriately.
"The decision to suspend Mr. Rice for a mere two games sends the inescapable message that the NFL does not take domestic or intimate-partner violence with the seriousness they deserve," the senators wrote.
“Mr. Rice’s suspension reflects a disturbingly lenient, even cavalier attitude towards violence against women,” the senators continued. “We therefore urge you to take two steps immediately. First, reconsider and revise Mr. Rice’s suspension to more adequately reflect the seriousness of his offense. We are also writing to the Baltimore Ravens to request that they impose additional discipline under their own authority, but it is imperative that the NFL itself makes clear that this conduct is truly unacceptable.”
See the full letter from the senators to Goodell below: