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Ray Rice suspension: Senators write NFL, Ravens urging harsher penalty

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

A group of senators on Thursday sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to increase the severity of the punishment handed down to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Rice is alleged to have assaulted Janay Palmer, his-since married fiance, in a Feb. 15 altercation in a casino elevator.

The NFL suspended Rice for two games, a shorter duration than some other players have received for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

“Mr. Rice’s suspension reflects a disturbingly lenient, even cavalier attitude towards violence against women,” the senators wrote. 

The letter also calls for the league to "develop procedures to ensure that allegations and evidence of domestic violence are addressed appropriately."

The senators sent a separate, shorter letter to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The three senators who co-signed the letters were Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). 

At a news conference on Thursday, Rice addressed the media for the first time since being issued the suspension. "Violence of any kind, especially man on woman, is not right," Rice said. "I have to pay for that."

More: Lenient penalty for Ray Rice troubling proof of where NFL's priorities lie

Will NFL ramp up punishments after fumbling Ray Rice case?

On Tuesday's SI Now, Sports Illustrated senior writer Don Banks and NFL writer Chris Burke discuss Ray Rice's two-game suspension and why the NFL has not reacted to public backlash.

- Chris Johnson

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