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Exclusive: NFLPA responds to Ray Rice's release, suspension

NFLPA responds to Ray Rice's release, suspension

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith gives his statement on Ray Rice after Rice was released by the Ravens and then indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

On Monday, a newly released video cost Ray Rice his spot on the Baltimore Ravens, and possibly brought his NFL career to a close.

The video, released by TMZ, shows Rice striking his then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer in the elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Feb. 15. In the wake of the video's release, Rice was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL claims that the new video was not made available to the league when it previously investigated the incident, an investigation that resulted originally in a two-game ban for Rice.

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

Examining legal fallout | SI.com's complete Ray Rice coverage

In an exclusive interview with SI.com's Doug Farrar, the executive director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, details the union's response to Rice's punishment and more.

"I was one of the last people to see the video, because I was on a plane flying out at oh-dark-thirty this morning, and I saw the video when I landed," Smith said. "And yes, the video is disturbing. As a father, as a husband -- when you see something like that, it's jarring. It's disturbing. For our union and for our players, it's one of those things where you at least try to look at something positive. And that is the reminder how unacceptable any kind of violence, especially domestic violence, should be. It has no place in our lives, and certainly in our community. And that's where we are right now.

"The video is really all the information I've seen. I did learn on the way over to the facility about Mr. Rice being released, and have not yet talked to [NFL Commissioner] Roger [Goodell] about any other discipline. I did hear that [Rice had been suspended], but I tend to rely on the Commissioner and learning all the facts first-hand. That's what we'll do, and once we know what those facts are, that will dictate our next steps."

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