News of Ray Rice’s release by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinite suspension from the league was met with universal approval in the Cincinnati Bengals locker room on Monday after video leaked of the running back appearing to knock his then-fiancee unconscious in a hotel elevator.
“There’s no place for that in any environment,” said left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who also is the team’s representative for the NFL Players Association. “Having a daughter and having a wife, I agree with their decision. I think it’s important that we set a precedent for how guys should act and live, so I applaud them for being willing to step up and correct a wrong.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell originally suspended Rice two games for domestic violence in July. The league claimed at the time and again on Monday that no one had seen the video from inside the elevator.
“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday morning. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones said he watched the video and found it disturbing.
“You don’t want to see stuff like that,” he said. “It’s not my situation, but it’s unfortunate to see something unfold like that. Hopefully it’ll bring light to the situation and everybody will do better with their lives.”
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said the suspension was something that had to happen, but he hopes this is something that is viewed more as a new start in Rice’s life rather than an end to his career.
“I hope Ray has learned from everything that has gone on,” Dalton said. “Obviously he made a really poor decision. Obviously he’s going to have to handle a lot of criticism, have to handle all the punishment that comes along with it. You hope that there is good for him that comes from it. I’m sure he’s taken all the necessary steps to become a better person, become a better man after this unfortunate situation.”