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Maine governor: Rice's NFL suspension not enough

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Gov. Paul LePage, outraged that National Football League player Ray Rice received only a two-game suspension for a domestic violence arrest, pledged to boycott the league and called on its commissioner to take the issue seriously.

In a scathing letter sent to Roger Goodell on Tuesday, the outspoken Republican governor said the punishment given to the Baltimore Ravens running back sends the message that it's OK "for professional athletes to beat women, just for the sake of ratings."

"Taking thugs and wife-beaters off the field may be bad for business, but you are playing games with people's lives," said LePage, who was beaten by his father when he was young and has made domestic abuse prevention and awareness a priority of his administration.

Rice was arrested after a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer, who is now his wife. He has publicly apologized and has been accepted into a court diversion program, which may lead to the charges being expunged.

Goodell has said that the league has to be consistent with other cases when doling out punishment. He also noted that Rice didn't have any off-field problems before and has taken responsibility for his actions.

In a radio interview last week, LePage said he would boycott the league, whose 2014 season kicks off Sept. 4, but he didn't specify what that would involve. His administration didn't immediately respond to questions about his plans to boycott.

LePage argued that Rice should have received a three-year suspension.

"As a matter of fact, the team should have taken him out in the back shed and taken care of him," he said.

LePage told Goodell that if the league allows players to get away with domestic violence, it will send the message to young men that such behavior is acceptable, which "tarnishes all players and gives the league a bad name."

He urged Goodell to take a strong stand against domestic violence by donating to an organization that provides services to victims or works to end the crime.

"You have the power to send a very strong message to a national audience that his behavior will not be tolerated," he said.

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Ephes415 August 13 2014 at 10:10 PM

It is not ANY state Governor's job to try and dictate how a privately owned business should discipline it's employees. That is NOT the governor's job and has ZERO direct affect on the state his charged with leading. The voters of Maine need to dethrone this egotist.

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16 replies
RICH August 13 2014 at 10:30 PM

It's everyone's job to speak up about domestic violence. The govener has the courage to call out the nfl publicly. The nfl should show that kind of outrage.

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5 replies
denj1 August 13 2014 at 10:13 PM

Ray Rice is a piece of ****.

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2 replies
kpollis denj1 August 14 2014 at 1:20 PM

that's YOUR moronic uninformed opinion...

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stevenjonessales denj1 August 14 2014 at 1:38 PM

No, he is a p.o.s.

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big cocks fan August 13 2014 at 10:06 PM

Way to go Gov, You 100% right. Goodell should be impeached and Rice put in jail a looooooong time.

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2 replies
jefferyc56 big cocks fan August 13 2014 at 11:27 PM

why, she married him after the incident. Did you see the elevator security footage of Beyonce sister attacking Jayz?.He had a body guard to help get her off, but if body guard had not been there, would he have to strike back to protect himself, the only two people who knows what happened was Ray Rice and his now wife. Iam 58 years old and never even thought about striking my wife or ex wife, but if Iam ever attacked by man or woman I will defend myself,

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3 replies
stevenjonessales big cocks fan August 14 2014 at 1:41 PM

jefferyc56

It is quite clear that you did not see the video. Mr. (yeah right) Rice should have been at least given a year off and do several hundred hours of community service at a women's shelter.

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dd1820 August 13 2014 at 9:39 PM

He is right but sadly, he is a lunatic and from Maine so Goodell and the NFL dont really give a rip what clown boy has to say. We lack two things that you need to have a voice, Maine has no leadership and LePage has very little between the ears............he is an embarrassment to the state.

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4 replies
dbsquirl August 13 2014 at 11:03 PM

He is right. I guess winning the game is more important than doing what is right.

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sdowns1470 August 13 2014 at 10:01 PM

I think the governor is dead on. The NFL needs to investigate strict punishments for abuse. This guy should be suspended for the season, if not longer. There is no reason to be abusive to anybody be it a friend or a relative. If you can't settle the argument that minute go somewhere else until you can be civil to that person. I don't think that governor's suggestion is realistic, but it would certainly teach Ray Rice a lesson.

When the "Malice at the Palace" took place in Auburn Hills, Michigan in 2004, David Stern suspended Ron Artest for the rest of the season and several other players for an extended period of time. He took action when it warranted and took it seriously. There is no reason for something like that to happen whether it is in sports or at home, work, school, a park etc. There is no place for that kind of violence. People need to learn the old saying "Do unto others as you would like to be treated." If people would remember that this world would be a lot better off.

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3 replies
Fred Schneider August 13 2014 at 9:49 PM

How can knocking your wife or Fiance out cold in an elevator get less punishment than sitting in your home and partaking of a marijuana joint?

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3 replies
barestofsouls1 August 13 2014 at 9:35 PM

He has a right to his opinion, and he may not be abusive to women but I'm pretty surethis governor is not perfect either. Let the NFL handle their business and he should handle his, as a political figure and leader. I've worked in Maine and there are some strangr people and goings-ons there that he should take care of before worrying about the NFL.

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1 reply
gonro2 barestofsouls1 August 14 2014 at 11:28 AM

That's like saying saying ....let the police in Ferguson handle their problem ....no need to speak out.

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3 replies
moooooooooochelle August 14 2014 at 12:29 AM

YOU THE MAN RAY...A TRUE AMERICAN HERO...KNOCK HER OUT AGAIN IF SHE ASKS FOR IT...

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1 reply
stevenjonessales moooooooooochelle August 14 2014 at 1:42 PM

moooooooooochelle,

Why do you consistently have the most retarded posts period?

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