(NEWSER) – At first, it was a two-game punishment. But when video emerged of Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator, it took just 10 hours and 18 minutes for a harsher penalty to take effect: The Batlimore Ravens running back lost his job. That will result in a multimillion-dollar loss for the Ravens; meanwhile, stores, including the NFL's, have dropped his jersey. Police had already said Rice had knocked out his then-fiancee, the Baltimore Sun reports. But the video "changed things," says Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Adds a former ESPN producer: "The optics are so powerful."
Onlookers have plenty of questions for the team and the NFL after claims that the league hadn't seen the video until yesterday. Among them:
- Reports have refuted that claim, suggesting "a cover-up of Nixonian proportions," writes Robert Silverman at the Daily Beast. "The question will become, “What did (commissioner) Roger Goodell know and when did he know it?” Why didn't the NFL push to see the tape earlier? What we're seeing from the league is "not morality. That’s damage control."
- And the revulsion goes right to the top, reports Politico. Says a White House rep: "The president is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society. Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors."
Photo: Getty Images