NFLPA executive director, in Seattle, says video of Ray Rice ‘disturbing’
DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, has yet to talk with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the Ray Rice situation.
Seattle Times staff reporters
RENTON – NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith called the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an elevator “disturbing.”
Rice was released by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The video, which was released by TMZ.com Monday morning, showed Rice striking Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel in February.
Smith was in Seattle to meet with the Seahawks as part of his annual meetings with players. He didn’t see the new video of Rice until his arrival. When he was preparing to leave Seattle on Monday evening, Smith said he hasn’t talked to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about Rice
“As far as the union’s next steps, I have yet to talk to Roger about the team and the league occurrences today,” Smith said. “I did learn that the Ravens had released him and I saw a report that he had been suspended indefinitely, but I have not heard that from the league itself so that will be the first step that we make.”
Smith added, “Upon seeing a video like that, as a father, as a husband, you are certainly bombarded with those initial thoughts. And rightfully so, I think.
“But your professional thoughts turn to what are the needs here and whether it’s the needs of both individuals who are involved. Those thoughts tend to be my first thoughts. Legal process and collective bargaining disciplinary proceedings tend to obviously come soon thereafter, but that’s not the first thought.”
Seahawks bolster offensive line
Monday, the Seahawks signed offensive tackle Andrew McDonald to their 53-man roster, filling a spot created when they waived receiver Michael Bates over the weekend.
Seattle needed offensive line depth after putting Lemuel Jeanpierre on injured reserve last week.
McDonald had been on the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers, where he also spent the 2013 season. In 2012, he was on the practice squad of the Miami Dolphins, where he was identified as one of the targets of harassment in connection with the Richie Incognito scandal.
McDonald had surgery for testicular cancer, which was found during a routine physical before the Panthers’ rookie minicamp this year. He said he has been given a clean bill of health but has regular checkups.
“I put it in my mind that there are a lot more people out there going through worse stuff,’’ McDonald said.