Mike Garafolo: ‘Hope What Ray Rice Is Saying Is Accurate’

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Ray Rice (Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ray Rice (Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Several days have passed since the NFL handed Ray Rice a two-game suspension for assaulting his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer at an Atlantic City hotel in February, and yet, the sports world is still trying to make sense of it.

Why did the NFL go so light on Baltimore’s star running back?

“Well, I think it’d have to do with that meeting in New York and the details of the full incident that Janay Palmer shared,” FOX Sports 1 NFL insider Mike Garafolo said on The John Feinstein Show. “I know a lot of people did not like what she said at that press conference, when she (said she acknowledged her) role in this. I know that people really didn’t like the fact that the Ravens tweeted that out, but that was part of the conversation, and they convinced Roger Goodell that this was a rare occurrence and something that they’ve learned from. And also, you don’t have any legal issues or pre-trial intervention that he entered into, so you don’t have any legal resolution resulting in jail time or anything like that – so that certainly knocked down the punishment, I think.”

Rice, as expected, will not appeal the suspension.

“We knew from the beginning that was not going to happen,” Garafolo said. “You want this thing done. You want this thing done and over with. No more going back and forth. You knew the Ravens and Ray Rice were going to be relieved (by a two-game suspension). From the standpoint of what it’s going to mean from a football perspective, two games is not all that bad. You get it out there, you get it done with and you move on.”

“You see the way the NFL’s kind of reacted to this one – not a whole lot of commenting on it publicly,” Garafolo continued. “At some point, Roger Goodell will have to. He’s going to do an interview at some point, he’s going to be asked about it and he’s going to have to explain it. But at this point, (the mindset for everyone is) let’s just get this thing over with and move on.”

Disconcerting to many, however, is that Palmer admitted partial responsibility for the incident.

“That is a major concern for a lot of people here, which is why I would love to have a transcript of that meeting in New York,” Garafolo said. “Whatever was said there eased a lot of concerns – or they said the right things in a lot of ways – and that certainly helped things on Roger Goodell’s end in that regard.”

“And the one thing I said last week: No matter the punishment, you do hope that what Ray Rice is saying is accurate – which is that they’ve learned from it, they’ve become better parents and they’ve become better as a couple. That’s all I can hope for at this point.”

Garafolo, like many, also found fault with Tony Dungy, who admitted that he would not have drafted Michael Sam because of the potential for distraction. Dungy also said that he does not agree with Sam’s lifestyle.

“It’s kind of confusing that Tony Dungy would support Michael Vick (but not Michael Sam),” Garafolo said. “That, to me, was a head-scratcher. Supporting him after coming out of jail and then saying that you wouldn’t welcome Michael Sam because of the distraction (potential), I thought that was extremely hypocritical.”

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