Maine Gov. Paul LePage is outraged that the NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received for a mere two games following a domestic violence arrest, and LePage pledged to boycott the league, per the Associated Press.
LePage called commissioner Roger Goodell to take the issue seriously in a scathing letter, saying that Rice's light punishment sends the message that it's acceptable "for professional athletes to beat women, just for the sake of ratings."
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The Republican governor was beaten by his father as a child and has made domestic abuse prevention and awareness one of the foundational priorities of his administration, according to the AP.
More from his letter to Goodell:
"Taking thugs and wife-beaters off the field may be bad for business, but you are playing games with people's lives," LePage said.
But it doesn't stop with the latter. Last week in a radio interview last week, LePage suggested the NFl seek other methods of discipline that are perhaps a bit more old fashioned.
"As a matter of fact, the team should have taken him out in the back shed and taken care of him," he said.
LePage called for Rice to get a three-year suspension. Not games ... years. (Someone check how much brandy was in that man's bisque!)
Rice was arrested in February following an altercation in an Atlantic City hotel during which he struck his then-fiancée (now wife) Janay Palmer. Rice had the charges dropped after being accepted into a court diversion program, and though Rice publicly apologized, the court of public opinion hasn't been too kind on him — or Goodell.
The commissioner said the NFL seels to be consistent with its discipline cases and punishment and indicated that Rice being a first-time offender and taking responsibility for his actions were factored into the two-game sentencing.
LePage said that Rice's short suspension length sends the message that players can get away lightly for bad behavior and that it "tarnishes all players and gives the league a bad name."
In addition, he urged Goodell to take a strong stand against domestic violence and to donate to an organization that aids abuse victims or seeks to prevent abuse
"You have the power to send a very strong message to a national audience," LePage wrote, "that [Rice's] behavior will not be tolerated."
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- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Ray Rice
- Roger Goodell
- Paul LePage