Ray Rice’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens has been terminated after new graphic video surfaced showing him punch his then-fiancé Janay Palmer in a casino elevator, knocking her unconscious.

Ray Rice Cut From Baltimore Ravens

Rice was in the third year of his $40 million five-year contract with the Ravens. The news comes on the heels of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to suspend Rice from the league indefinitely, though the action from Goodell might prove to be too little, too late, considering his original ruling, giving Rice a 2-game suspension for the incident.

The swift action comes after the release of a new surveillance video of the domestic violence incident between Rice and his wife that occurred in February, which appears to show Rice punching Palmer in the face, causing her to fall and hit her head on the handrail, knocking her unconscious. Previously, the only video evidence of the assault was surveillance video from the lobby of the casino.

Ray Rice Outrage: Original 2-Game Suspension

In February, surveillance video was released showing Rice, 27, dragging an unconscious Palmer from a casino elevator. The original video was taken from the lobby, and did not show the altercation that took place before Palmer was unconscious. The two were later married and charges against Rice were lessened and the NFL player struck a deal that would not only get him zero jail time, but could also keep him from prosecution altogether. Instead, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that will last one year.

At a press conference in May, Rice and his wife spoke to a room of reporters, sitting in front of a Baltimore Ravens’ banner. Rice apologized to his fans and the NFL, admitting his guilt, but also allowing for his wife to apologize, in a move that outraged many fans and viewers. The Baltimore Ravens tweeted on their official account about Palmer’s apology, writing, “she deeply regrets the role she played,” a move many identified as a classic example of the ‘blame the victim’ mentality.

This sentiment, that Palmer was somehow responsible for being knocked out by Rice, echoed a statement from Rice’s lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, released after the first video leaked. “We’ll assure the public that when this matter is fully tried and completed, you’ll have a better understanding of what happened and we ask the public to reserve making any judgment until all of the facts come out,” Diamondstein said at the time.

But, the biggest outrage came when NFL Commissioner Goodell announced that, due to the incident, Rice would be suspended for two games – a punishment deemed extremely disproportional to Rice’s crimes. In comparison, Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns was suspended for the entire 2014 NFL season after he failed a drug test for marijuana.

New Graphic Video Of Ray Rice Elevator Assault

With Rice’s suspension coming to an end on Friday, new surveillance video has surfaced that appears to be the footage from inside the elevator. In the video, Rice is clearly seen swatting Palmer, backing up and then striking her down as she begins to lunge at him. Palmer hit her head on the hand railing as she fell, knocking her unconscious, causing Rice to have to drag her out of the elevator.

WARNING: Graphic video content

Did The NFL See The Video?

In light of the new video, outrage against Rice and NFL Commissioner Goodell has increased tenfold, with many questioning whether Goodell had seen this footage before giving Rice a meager two-day suspension. An NFL spokesperson has insisted that they did not have the footage when deciding the length of Rice’s suspension.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today,” spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

However, reports in July stated that the NFL and the local authorities had, in fact, seen the surveillance video from the inside of the elevator, and all reporters appear to be standing by their original statements. Furthermore, ESPN’s Jane McManus confirmed that a source told her that the NFL had access to the newly released video when deciding the 2-game suspension.

After the release of the new video, countless celebrities, sports reporters and former and current NFL players took to Twitter to call for Rice to be expelled from the professional league.

Neither the Baltimore Ravens nor Goodell have elaborated on Rice’s suspension from the league, but Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, who previously defended Rice, will hold a press conference later tonight. And the question of whether or not the NFL had access to this new surveillance video before making their initial ruling on Rice's suspension remains unanswered.

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