Prior to the 2014 season, the NFL didn’t really have much in place in the way of a domestic violence policy. That all quickly changed in large part thanks to Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens.
There aren’t many who would disagree in the assessment the Ravens did a lackluster job in handling the situation surrounding their now-former running back. However, a lack of policy at both the organizational and NFL level is part of the reason the situation was handled the way it was, Ravens owner Steve Biscoitti told season ticket holders Wednesday.
“I think that we were pretty stupid not to recognize domestic violence as a category by itself,” Bisciotti said on a conference call, per ESPN.com. “No other infractions — failed drug tests, bar fights or DUIs — nothing to me should rise to that level. I’m embarrassed to say that they were lumped together. So, I’m happy that we found ourselves comfortable taking that categorically and putting it into at the top of the list as something that is just unacceptable.”
The Ravens were criticized for not doing enough when news of Rice’s domestic dispute with his then-fiancée surfaced. The Ravens even dragged their feet when video of Rice punching his wife in the face came to light, eventually giving in and releasing the running back.
“We did the best we can,” Bisciotti said. “I can’t say I don’t have regrets. I said back then, my regret was not cutting him. My regret was not demanding to see the video. I believe we could’ve gotten it. If we had seen the video back in the spring, I think we would have a different circumstance. We would’ve released him. We should have seen the video in May and not in September.”
Bisciotti also said the Ravens now take into consideration off-field issues — particularly any history of domestic violence — when scouting for the draft or preparing for free agency.