Leaked footage showing NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then fiancée unconscious during an argument has shocked so many people, the White House has issued an official response.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest released the following statement on behalf of President Obama after the Baltimore Ravens star was cut from the squad.
“The President is the father of two daughters,” it read. “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.
“Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football – and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”
While it stopped short of mentioning Rice by name, the statement came in response to a question posed by Fox News reporter Ed Henry about the incident.
Obama shook hands with Rice and his Ravens teammates at the White House last year, following their Super Bowl XLVII win.
The statement will be followed by an address by Vice President Joe Biden at the National Archives. His speech will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.
Rice was sacked following the leak of the video footage by TMZ, with the NFL side confirming they terminated his contract with immediate effect.
The NFL had given Rice a two-match suspension for the incident, but the new CCTV footage - which the NFL had not been given as part of their investigation into the matter - which emerged on Sunday night has forced the franchise into a rethink regarding their disciplinary action against the 27-year-old.
Rice issued a statement on 24 July regarding the incident following the announcement of his ban. Released on the Ravens’ website, Rice said: “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault. As I said earlier, I failed in many ways.
“But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counselling has helped tremendously.”
The two would later confirm they had got married just a month after the assault.Reuse content