Ravens' Rice suspended by league for two games

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:53pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Baltimore Ravens' Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice was suspended by the National Football League on Thursday without pay for the first two games of the 2014 regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Rice has also been fined an additional game check for "conduct detrimental to the NFL" for his arrest in February following a fight he had with his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.

An anti-bullying advocate and three-time Pro Bowl pick, Rice was accepted into a pre-trial intervention program in May, thus avoiding jail time.

"The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

"This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career."

Rice's suspension will begin on Aug. 30 and he will be eligible for reinstatement on Sept. 12 following the Ravens' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is permitted to participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my team mates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice, 27, said in a statement released by the Ravens.

"As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this.

"The counseling has helped tremendously.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark (25) during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at M&T Bank Stadium in Nov, 2013. USA TODAY Sports/Mitch Stringer