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Janay to Commissioner Goodell: Don't ruin Rice's image and career

Newlywed Janay Rice urged commissioner Roger Goodell to not spoil Rice’s career with a punitive ban.

Rob Carr

Did Janay Palmer, not the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, save her husband's professional football career? According to a source, her poignant speech during the June 16 hearing at Goodell's office dampened the running back's suspension to two games for a domestic violence incident.

The sentence was perceived as hyper lenient, despite the evidence against Rice - surveillance video of him dragging Palmer's apparently unconscious body from the elevator of an Atlantic City casino following what police said was a physical altercation between the couple.

A source told that Palmer vowed Rice's actions was a one-time occurrence and begged the commissioner not to tarnish her husband's career with a punitive ban.

In the wake of the suspension, a person with close ties to Rice stated,

"Sometimes you need a wake-up call...That’s what this is for Ray. He’s a good person—people need to know that. But sometimes good people get off track. I can promise you this has gotten Ray back on track this off-season. He’s legitimately angry with himself for making this mistake. I know after it happened he was sick about it. Now he’s got to pay for it."

Other reasons consisted of Rice never having violated the NFL conduct or substance policy; Rice's prosecutor declined to pursue a case against him and therefore the Atlantic City incident was not reported as a crime; Rice is active in community service and led a Maryland anti-bullying campaign; Rice is receiving counseling.