Roger Goodell: Ray Rice's punishment consistent with NFL discipline

The NFL still seems OK with its punishment of Ray Rice. (USATSI)
The NFL defends its punishment of Ray Rice. (USATSI)

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Roger Goodell finally took questions on the Ray Rice issue Friday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Not surprisingly, Goodell seems perfectly content with his decision to suspend the Ravens back for two games following a domestic incident in February with his now-wife.

"We have a very firm policy that domestic violence is not acceptable in the NFL." Goodell told reporters, via the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "I think what's important here is Ray is taking responsibility. He's been accountable for his actions. He recognizes he made a horrible mistake and it's unacceptable, by his standards and our standards."

Goodell also talked about his consistency with league discipline.

"We have to remain consistent," Goodell said. "We can't just make up the discipline. It has to be consistent with other cases and it was."

Well, that's certainly up to debate. Case in point: Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended for six games following a pair of sexual abuse allegations, even though he wasn't charged with a crime. Roethlisberger appealed and his ban was eventually reduced to four games in 2010. 

Either way, it sounds like Goodell's reasoning for giving Rice a lighter punishment than, say, Roethlisberger is because it was a first incident for Rice and because he was placed into a diversionary program by the courts rather than face other legal punishment. 

Instead of sending out an NFL VP to try to defend the league's punishment, though, Goodell addressed the controversy himself.

Rice himself said that his physical altercation with his now-wife this offseason was his "lowest low" and that he made a "huge mistake."

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