A Timeline of the NFL's and Ravens' Reactions to Ray Rice Incident
The Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice on Monday after video surfaced of him knocking out his then-fiancée, now-wife Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City elevator. As players and fans continued to react with outrage, here is a timeline of reaction from the NFL and the Ravens from the time the incident was first alleged in February until now.
Feb. 15, 2014
Rice and Palmer are arrested and charged with simple assault at an Atlantic City casino. The police report state both parties "struck each other with their hands," but that neither suffered any injuries. Rice's lawyer calls the incident a "minor physical altercation."
TMZ releases a video of Rice dragging Palmer's limp body out of the casino elevator. It indicates that the incident had been far more serious than initially reported. A summons obtained by ESPN reveals Palmer had been knocked unconscious after being struck by Rice in the elevator. Rice's lawyer said he and Rice would "not try this case in the media."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh speaks to reporters at the NFL combine about Rice's arrest. When asked if there was a scenario where he could see the running back not being a part of the team during the 2014 season, he says: "Not that I'm aware of. I haven't seen anything that would remotely make me think that." He goes on to defend Rice's character.
"There are a lot of facts and a process that has to be worked through in anything like this. There are a lot of question marks. But Ray's character, you guys know his character. So you start with that."
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith publicly voices his support for his teammate.
WR Torrey Smith said that he is close with Ray Rice and has spoken w/ him since incident. Said he's supporting Rice and his fiancée.- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 25, 2014
Harbaugh tells reporters at a news conference that Rice and Palmer will be attending a couples seminar. He further defends Rice: "Ray has told me his side of it, and everything we've seen so far is very consistent with what he said."
Harbaugh said he has spoken with Ray Rice in recent weeks. He said Rice and his fiancee planning to attend couples seminar.- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 5, 2014
Rice is indicted by a grand jury on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. The charge against Palmer is dropped. Shortly after the new charge is announced, the Ravens issue a statement: "This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident."
"This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident." Full Story: http://t.co/Af1o0FKUFV- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 27, 2014
One day after the aggravated assault charge, Rice and Palmer get married. The pair was reportedly planning on a summer wedding but moved up the date with no public explanation. ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson states the marriage could complicate the case against Rice if his wife claims spousal privilege.
Ray Rice participates in offseason workouts with the team.
Ray Rice is participating in offseason workouts, and strength & conditioning coach Bob Rogucki coach said he's in good shape.- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 22, 2014
Rice pleads not guilty to the aggravated assault charge and applies for a pretrial intervention program. If approved, he will avoid formal prosecution.
Rice is accepted into the pre-trial program and will avoid prosecution. If he successfully completes the yearlong program, his charge will be dismissed.
RB Ray Rice has reportedly been accepted into a diversionary program that will allow him to avoid prosecution on an assault charge.- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 20, 2014
Rice and Palmer address the media from the Ravens practice facility. The Ravens live-tweet the event, including one that reads, "Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident."
Ray Rice: "First off, I would like to apologize." Apologizes to the organization, his fans, kids and "everyone who was affected."- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014
Ray Rice: "I'm still the same guy. Me and Janay wish we could take back those 30 seconds of our life."- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014
As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell considers the severity of discipline to enforce, he meets with Rice and Palmer at league headquarters in New York.
The NFL announces a two-game suspension for Rice, starting Aug. 30. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome calls the punishment "significant" but "fair" before defending the running back.
Ozzie: "While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league's decision and believe it is fair."- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 24, 2014
#Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome: "We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice."- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 24, 2014
Ozzie Newsome: "That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect."- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 24, 2014
Despite the suspension announcement and widespread national backlash, Rice receives a large ovation from fans at an open practice at training camp.
Goodell addresses the media for the first time after announcing Rice's two-game suspension while in Canton for the 2014 Football Hall of Fame enshrinement. After days of criticism from fans and reporters, the NFL commissioner tries to defend his decision: "I take into account all of the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be. In this case, there was no discipline by the criminal justice system. They put him in that diversionary program."
After receiving extreme criticism for Rice's light suspension, the NFL announces more severe punishments for domestic violence incidents.
NFL announces changes to the league's personal conduct policy: http://t.co/M4bkMxBP9e- NFL (@nfl) August 28, 2014
TMZ releases footage from the Atlantic City elevator incident that shows Rice striking Palmer in the face and knocking her unconscious. Initially, the Ravens offered no comment.
Hours later, Rice is cut from the team.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice's contract this afternoon.- Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces Rice's indefinite suspension from the league shortly after. The Ravens delete a tweet from the May news conference with Ray Rice and Janay Palmer:
Janay (Palmer) Rice issues a statement via her Instagram account.
After the NFL repeatedly denied it had seen the video before TMZ released it, a law enforcement official tells the Associated Press he sent the footage to the league in April. The official, speaking on a condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, played for the AP a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office phone number confirming the arrival of the video to the league office. On the message, a female employee says, "You're right. It's terrible." The NFL issues a statement moments later: "We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it."