Law of athletics professor explains why Ray Rice's release, susp - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Law of athletics professor explains why Ray Rice's release, suspension took so long

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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice won't be playing for the Ravens anymore and is suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

His suspension comes after a video from back in February surfaced online by TMZ showing him assaulting his fiancee.

The veteran running back punches Janay Palmer, the woman who is now his wife, in the face, knocking her unconscious inside the elevator.

Once the elevator arrives at the floor, Rice is seen dragging her lifeless body into the hallway.

"It was no law that required them to act, given that the video surfaced. The release of the video made it very clear that it was a very violent action," said Ann Rhodes, a University of Iowa health care policy and law of athletics professor.

Rhodes says it may have taken so long for the NFL to take stronger action because there was no video representation showing what really happened.

However once the video surfaced, the NFL had to take quick action or face the public, says Rhodes

She says just recently the NFL strengthened rules when it comes to players being involved in domestic violence.

Originally, when the incident first happened Rice was only given a two-game suspension.

"Action should've been taken right away, not waiting for the public to push," said Alex Salem, a football fan.

Rhodes says many sports fans are forgiving or overlook criminal behavior for athletes.

"I think with Michael Vick, cruelty to animals really hits people hard," said Rhodes."Even in the absence of the video tape, the description served to render this crime."

She says she won't be surprised if Rice is picked up by another team in the years to come, just like Michael Vick.

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