Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is joining the calls for the National Football League to impose stiffer punishment on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
"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.
The statement by the former Connecticut attorney general came after TMZ.com posted new video which shows Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face and dragging her from an elevator. The NFL suspended Rice for two games. The NFL told TMZ it had not seen the video when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed the original punishment. The couple married shortly after the incident.
"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," Blumenthal said.
Back in July, Blumenthal joined fellow Democrats Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut in writing letters to both Goodell and Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome about the Rice case.
"As we wrote to National Football League Commission Roger Goodell today, we are appalled by the imposition of a mere two-game suspension on Ray Rice for the disturbing acts of violence he committed against his then-fiancée," the senators wrote. "Both on its own and in relation to the longer suspensions the NFL has imposed for a variety of low-level, non-violent offenses, this suspension is plainly inadequate, and it leads to the inescapable conclusion that the NFL does not consider domestic violence to be a serious crime."
More recently, the NFL announced a more stringent domestic violence policy going forward.
Blumenthal serves on the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction in antitrust matters.