Ray Rice cut by Ravens, NFL issues indefinite suspension after video of punch emerges

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Ray Rice seen posing on his Twitter page. (Credit: Twitter / @RayRice27)
Ray Rice seen posing on his Twitter page. (Credit: Twitter / @RayRice27)

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Just hours after new surveillance footage emerged Monday, showing the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an Atlantic City elevator, the Ravens have cut ties with their star running back.

ESPN's Chris Mortenson was the first to report the news, reporting that Rice's contract had been "terminated."

A short time later, the Ravens issued a tweet confirming the news.

A short time later, an NFL spokesperson tweeted that Rice would be suspended indefinitely, amending Rice's original two-game suspension.

The news comes after those within the Ravens' organization and many in the NFL had publicly called Rice's behavior nothing more than a mistake, and not indicative of his character.

The Ravens even held a press conference after the Feb. 15 incident, in which Rice apologized. Rice's then-fiancé Janay Palmer, the women seen getting knocked unconscious in the video, also joined Rice for the press conference, even apologizing for the "role she played in the incident."

Before that press conference, the  only video available to the public of the incident showed Rice carrying Palmer out of an elevator in an Atlantic City, N.J. hotel.

But TMZ obtained video from inside the elevator that showed Rice delivering a powerful strike to Palmer, knocking her down and out. That video was released around 2 a.m. MST on Monday.

News of Rice's release came just over 10 hours later.

The video that was released on Monday shows Rice and Palmer briefly arguing inside the Revel Hotel and Casino before it ends with Rice delivering a hook, knocking her out.

The blow knocked Palmer off her feet and she hit her head on the elevator handrail. When the elevator doors open, Rice drags her out and into the hotel.

RELATED: Broncos’ Terrance Knighton voices disgust with Ray Rice, calls on NFL brethren to do same

An employee at the now-shuttered hotel told TMZ that the NFL saw the elevator footage before suspending Rice for the first two games of the season. The suspension drew harsh criticism in and out of the sports world.

It led the league to implement a domestic violence punishment protocol that brings a six-game suspension for any league player or employee involved in a domestic violence incident and a lifetime suspension for a second violation.

Rice has so far only received a two-game suspension for the incident. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league “didn’t get it right” when it handed down that punishment in July.

“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right,” Goodell wrote.

Rice faced a felony aggravated assault charge in the case, but he accepted a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being wiped from his record.

On Monday morning, the league issued a statement on the new video.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

The news of Rice's suspension is considered a step in the right direction by both members of the NFL and domestic violence acitivists.

"My personal feeling is there's no place for it our league or in our society," said Denver Broncos Coach John Fox during a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Other groups, including the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, are hopeful the video will spark a larger discussion about violence against women. The state-wide, nonprofit helps to strengthen domestic violence shelters and engages local leaders on abuse prevention.

If you're seeking help in the Denver metro area call: 303-318-9989.   If you're seeking help and need assistance from a non-English speaker call: 1-800-799-7233.

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