OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Igniting a social media firestorm of criticism, it seems like everyone is talking about Ray Rice, the now former Baltimore Ravens running back who was terminated by the team Monday and suspended by the National Football League indefinitely.
The decision came just hours after a violent video leaked online by TMZ. The footage shows Rice knocking out the woman he married just one month later.
FOX 4 went to 68’s Inside Sports training complex in Overland Park to get local reaction. We talked with women attending a football clinic where they were learning about the game and condemning Rice’s actions.
Most of the women had just watched this violent video. It shows Rice and his wife, Janay Palmer, in a casino elevator back in February.
It’s obvious they’re arguing, then comes the blow. It’s a knockout that slams Palmer into the elevator rail and then to the ground. She’s out cold, and when the elevator door opens, he casually drags her limp body outside.
Women at the football clinic described the graphic video as disturbing and heartbreaking.
“We shouldn’t have football players treating women like that or anybody like that,” said Lori Dugan, “because they’re role models to young people. We shouldn’t have our kids looking up to people like that.”
The fundraiser clinic was put on by former Kansas City Chiefs player Will Shields. Fox 4 asked him to weigh in on the video, as he spent 14 years in the NFL before retiring in 2006.
“All the things you put in to get to this point and yet you make that mistake, you make that bad choice, you make that bad decision, and it’s detrimental to what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to accomplish,” Shields said. “I just feel sorry for everybody that’s involved.”
Shields said he supports the NFL new harsher penalties for domestic violence and sexual assault. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced those last month as a six-game suspension for a first offense and an indefinite suspension for at least a year for a second offense.