Florida Senator Marco Rubio Calls for Life Suspension of Former Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice Over Violent Video [Watch]
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has joined the debate over former NFL Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, after a video of the athlete punching his then-fiancée cost him his job on Monday.
On Monday, TMZ released a video of Rice, now 27 years old, punching Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, in an elevator of an Atlantic City hotel in February. Rice is then seen dragging Palmer's body out of the elevator. Hours later, the Ravens announced Rice's termination, and the NFL announced his indefinite suspension.
According to Rubio, a temporary suspension will not be enough.
"It was an outrageous act that he did, and I think he even lied about it," Rubio told TMZ on Monday. "He should be suspended for life. There is no place for someone like that in the National Football League."
The Republican added that the NFL should have a zero tolerance policy toward domestic violence and being part of the league is a privilege.
"I think you lose that privilege when you do something like that," Rubio said.
Rubio also took to Twitter to voice his opinion.
"Ray Rice should be banned by NFL for life & charged with battery by authorities. No excuse for what he did and should not be any 2nd chance," he tweeted.
Watch Rubio speak to TMZ in the video below:
According to The Associated Press, a longer version of elevator footage shows Rice and Palmer screaming "obscenities" at one another, before Palmer "appears to spit in the face" of Rice.
On Tuesday, Nike ended its deals with Rice, and video game publisher Electronic Arts said that Rice will not appear in its Madden '15 game.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that after seeing the video on TMZ, he met with Steve Bisciotti, Ravens owner, and Dick Cass, team president, who all decided to terminate Rice's five-year contract that began in 2012.
In March, Rice was charged with felony assault, but his wife refused to testify, according to The New York Times. Rice then entered a pretrial intervention program that, if completed, would dismiss his third-degree aggravated assaults charges, according to USA Today.
The NFL was criticized for suspending Rice for just two games before, and the Ravens reportedly used the words "respect" and "proud" in reference to Rice after his arrest, AP reports.
"Everything I said in terms of what I believe, I stand by," Harbaugh said. "I believe that still, and I'll always believe those things, and [we'll] always stand in support of them as a couple, and that's not going to change."
Check out the video that got Rice fired below:
Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.
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