Ravens running back Ray Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been the focus of the media this week, as release of a video showing the three-time Pro Bowler hitting his then-fianceé Janay Palmer in an elevator prompted Rice's dismissal from the Baltimore Ravens and his indefinite suspension from the NFL. The incident and resulting fallout is troubling and traumatic for Rice, the league, and most unfortunate of all, Janay Palmer. But the Rice incident is not the first of its kind, and as the NFL and its supporters look to spin the Ray Rice incident into a one-off situation, it's crucial that they are held accountable for the players they've let walk away relatively unscathed in the very recent past.
Collecting data from USA TODAY and the U-T San Diego NFL arrest database, we've found 14 players who are currently active in the NFL, and who have a history of domestic violence charges or accusations in their past. We highlight these players because they are indicative of the NFL's continued inability to properly punish and address issues of domestic violence within their league. They are by no means the only players who have been charged with domestic violence in recent years. The USA TODAY arrest sheet tallies 89 separate incidents of domestic violence among players since 2000. Some of these players were either released or are retired now. But many of them were allowed to carry on with their careers. These players are just a fraction of that group.