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Democrat asks NFL to rethink penalty against Ray Rice

Janay Rice, back left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks during an NFL football news conference, Friday, May 23, 2014, at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. Ray Rice spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest for assaulting his fiance, now his wife, at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday called on the National Football League to reconsider the two-game suspension it gave to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for domestic violence, after a new video was released showing the violent altercation between the two.

The video shows Rice and his then-fiance Janay Palmer entering an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. Rice hit Palmer in the elevator twice — the second hit forced her off her feet, and she hit her head on a railing on the way down.

Janay Rice, back left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks during an NFL football news conference, Friday, May 23, 2014, at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. Ray Rice spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest for assaulting his fiance, now his wife, at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J.  (AP/Patrick Semansky) A Senate Democrat is asking the NFL to impose a tougher penalty against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, after a new video shows him punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

The website that first had the video TMZ, reported that the NFL saw the video before giving Rice a two-game suspension.

"The video released today emphasizes how egregiously weak and wrong the initial penalty against Ray Rice was – as the commissioner has acknowledged – and it constitutes new, powerful evidence that requires the commissioner to reconsider and reach a stronger punishment," Blumenthal said Monday. "The NFL took a positive step forward with its new policy on domestic violence, but in the wake of this new video, allowing Ray Rice to take the field after only a two-game suspension would be a disappointing step backwards."

Back in July, Blumenthal and two other Senate Democrats called on the NFL to develop policies for handling players involved in domestic violence. Since then, the league announced that players would be banned for six games after one indecent, and would be banned for life after a second incident.

As those policy changes were being developed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that the NFL didn't penalize Rice enough.

One last thing…
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