NFL fans criticize running back's suspension for domestic violence

An NFL suspension is drawing attention to domestic violence.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will have to sit out two games following his arrest for alleged domestic violence.

From a league that suspends players four games for violating its substance abuse policy, Rice's suspension has some asking the NFL what message it's sending to its female fans.

"I just totally believe that the NFL is blowing it here," said Terry Moore with Beacon of Hope, a crisis support center for women trying to escape their abusers.

Moore, also a domestic abuse survivor, said the NFL is also missing the chance to send an important message to its fans, both men and women.

"You just do not hit a woman. You do not knock her out unconsciously. That is just not right," Moore continued.

Moore said she was outraged by the NFL's response after TMZ video came to light showing Rice dragging his then fiance Jayna Palmer, who appears unconscious, out of a hotel elevator in Atlantic City New Jersey in February.

Rice and Palmer went on to marry the next month, a day after a grand jury indicted Rice for aggravated assault. Rice entered a diversionary program to avoid prosecution.

"I am working every day to be a better father, a better husband, you know, just a better role model," said Rice at a news conference announcing the two-game suspension.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to Rice which said in part, "We simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women."

A two-game suspension, though, doesn't reflect that sentiment, Moore says.

"It's sending a really mixed signal in society right now," she said. "That it is okay to beat your wife or your significant other. It's okay."

For Moore, it most certainly is not and she said she believes most women, many of them NFL fans, likely agree.

"They possibly could lose some women fans over this," said Moore.

She said she plans to write a letter of complaint to the NFL commissioner and have her entire staff sign it. She is encouraging others to do the same.

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