Friday, May 13, 2022

NFL takes heat for latest action against ex-Ravens RB Ray Rice

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Former NFL lead rusher Arian Foster took a trip down memory lane and decided to share his insights in a video he posted to Twitter on Thursday, May 12. but with one notable exception.

Foster’s video featured some of the autographed jerseys he’d collected from fellow players over eight years in the league, including one worn by former Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice.

The NFL decided to cut the jersey reveal of Rice, who won multiple Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl, before his indefinite suspension following a domestic violence incident in 2014.

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Foster’s video began with a browse of his own jerseys, including the many he wore with the Houston Texans. At the 0:13 mark, Foster began putting other players’ shirts on the pile, many of them autographed, including Eric Berry, Andrew Luck, AJ Green and Mike Evans.

A few Ravens were in the group, starting with former kick return ace Jacoby Jones and ending with Hall of Fame middle linebacker Ray Lewis, but it was another Raven that caught the eye.

In his first video, Foster tossed Rice’s jersey on the pile at the 0:57 mark, just one spot after, carried by arch-rivals Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu:

Rice was nowhere to be found but the NFLs official account reposted the video hours later. Instead, Polamalus’ jersey was still in place, but those worn by Foster and Rice running backs Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch followed immediately.

The sudden jump into AP and Beast modes did not escape Foster’s note writing “lmao y’all cut out ray rice” on the NFL’s compressed video.

Some fans also noticed the editing.

Also former NFL running back Charles James II who played from 2013 to 2016 replied Foster“Politics lol.”

The decision to leave Rice out of league-branded content may have been his indefinite ban in 2014. Commissioner Roger Goodell made the decision after video acquired by TMZ Sports showed Rice physically assaulting his then-fiancee Janay Palmer during an argument in the elevator at Atlantic City’s Revel Hotel and Casino in February 2014.

Rice, who later married Palmer in March 2014, was initially suspended by the NFL for two games before video of his actions circulated. This initial punishment led to widespread criticism of the league’s consistent handling of incidents of domestic violence.

A response came from U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who wrote to both Goodell and the Ravens and, according to Ryan, to more serious ones Action urged Wilson of CBS Sports:

It’s not clear if the NFL’s decision to avoid any mention or depiction of Rice in Foster’s video is motivated by a need to show that the league is still upholding the standards required by those senators.

As TMZ Sports reported on May 12 after the edited version of Foster’s post appeared, “It should be noted that they left out a few other jerseys as well, including that of former Texas punter Shane Lechler.”

Peterson’s jersey remained in the reframed clip. The 37-year-old was arrested in Los Angeles in February this year after a representative for the former four-time All-Pro told TMZ Sports what happened to a “verbal fight” and a “private misunderstanding” with his wife over Peterson’s removal from a flight out of LA

Peterson “agreed to complete 20 domestic violence and alcohol counseling sessions over the next 6 months,” according to USA Today Sports’ Scooby Axson, sharing a statement from a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

As early as 2014, after being charged with child abuse, he pleaded for a “reduced charge of reckless physical harm”. Goodell imposed a suspension after seeing visual evidence of the damage to Peterson’s four-year-old son.

Peterson was reinstated in 2015 and went on to play for the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals in Washington, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks.

Rice hasn’t played since 2013. He accumulated four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2009-2012 and helped the Ravens win the 2012 Super Bowl.

Foster entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009, a year after the Ravens picked Rice in the fourth round. Both became leading running backs during their eras, with Foster overtaking Rice by 6,527 yards to 6,180 by the end of his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. They also shared seven Pro Bowl appearances, with Rice making three.

Foster won the league rushing title in 2010 with 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Rice finished second in the race for the rushing crown a year later. He was 242 yards behind Maurice Jones-Drew, another running back whose jersey made the cut in both versions of Foster’s post.

As TMZ Sports reported on May 12 after the edited version of Foster’s post appeared, “It should be noted that they left out a few other jerseys as well, including that of former Texas player Shane Lechler.”

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