NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended himself Friday against criticism that he was too lenient in suspending Ray Rice two games for his "horrible mistake."
"We just can’t make up the discipline," Goodell said. "It has to be consistent with other cases. And it was in this matter."
Goodell stressed that the Baltimore running back has assumed responsibility for his conduct, has no history of assault and is following a court order to enter a diversionary program following his domestic violence arrest.
"We’ve dealt with it in a serious manner, and we’re very confident that this young man understands where he is and what he needs to do going forward," Goodell said. "I think what’s important here is Ray has taken responsibility for this. He’s been accountable for his actions."
Goodell spoke a day before the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was his first opportunity to answer questions regarding Rice since disciplining him July 24.
A day earlier, Rice apologized at training camp in his first comments since the suspension. He called his actions "totally inexcusable" and acknowledged he must live with this for the rest of his life.
The six-year veteran will miss the Ravens’ season opener against Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game against Pittsburgh.
Rice allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer, now his wife, on Feb. 15 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 27-year-old player has been accepted into a diversion program and upon completion could result in the charges being expunged.
Around the league
Browns • Receiver Josh Gordon met Friday with NFL officials to appeal a possible indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon’s attorney, Maurice Suh, is expected to argue that Gordon tested positive for marijuana because of secondhand smoke, a defense they planned to enhance with witnesses.
Jaguars • Rookie receiver Allen Robinson will miss extended time with another hamstring injury. Robinson strained his right hamstring in practice Thursday. It’s the same leg that kept him out during organized team activities. A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson had been one of the stars of training camp.
Washington • Receiver Jerry Rice Jr. has a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will have surgery. Coach Jay Gruden indicated Friday that Rice will probably be placed on injured reserve. Rice was hurt Thursday when he fell on his shoulder while trying to catch a pass. Rice was undrafted out of UNLV.
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