Ray Rice has been sacked following the leak of video footage showing the Baltimore Raven knocking his fiancée-turned-wife unconscious, with the NFL side confirming they have 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.
American Website TMZ have released the footage, where Rice is seen to strike his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the face on 15 February this year at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Palmer retaliates, before Rice hits her a second time in the face, knocking her unconscious. The leak has led to widespread condemnation of both Rice and the seemingly light punishment he received from the National Football League.
But after the news spread on Monday morning, the Ravens took the decision to terminate Rice's contract.
The franchise released a short statement that read: “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon.
A short clip of the video published on TMZ can be seen below.
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.
In a statement released by the NFL on 24 July, Goodell said: “As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league policies and the standard behaviour required of everyone who is part of the NFL.”
The statement adds: “This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”
A video originally emerged showing Rice dragging Palmer out of the lift after the incident, but this new footage shows the exact moment that Rice hit his now-wife. Since the decision was made to ban Rice, the NFL announced that a revision of their policy on domestic violence. They confirmed on 28 August that a first offence now carries a six-match suspension, and any repeat offence will result in a lifetime ban from the sport.
The Ravens began their 2014 season last night without Rice, and suffered a narrow 23-16 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals. Rice will also miss Thursday night’s encounter against the Pittsburgh Steelers, before becoming available for selection once again for the week three clash against the Cleveland Browns.
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