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“As a father of three daughters it is inexcusable,” NFL analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher told reporters, adding it was “absolutely the right thing” for the Ravens to fire Rice. The comments emerged during a call publicizing CBS’s Thursday Night Football. “There’s no way you should even condone having that person in the building,” Cowher said.
Former cornerback Deion Sanders, who once played on the Ravens himself, added, “In light of what we saw, this had to be done. … Like Coach Cowher, I have two daughters. I have four girls living with me in my house. I was saddened to see that, but I was satisfied with what the Ravens did.”
Earlier on the call, executives had sidestepped talking about Rice directly. In addition to the emergence of the video, the subject is timely because the Sept. 11 kick off of Thursday Night Football pits the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Ravens in Baltimore. The Ravens tweeted the news of Rice’s termination midway through the call with reporters.
“We will be covering in pregame and broadcast,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports and the executive producer of CBS’s NFL coverage. “Yeah, we have talked about it. Had a call at 1 p.m. this afternoon with our producers to see how we address it. We’ll address it early in the show, on the 7:30. I’m sure our guys will have strong opinions as they always do, and we said to them we’ll give you guys sufficient time to air your opinions.”
“This is clearly a topic of interest, clearly one that is important to the league and we will cover it as the news story that it is,” said Brian Rolapp, executive vp media, NFL.
Rice had been suspended by the NFL for two games in July after the domestic abuse charges surfaced, but the emergence of the video this morning — which shows Rice striking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino — brought the issue back to the forefront. The Ravens announced several hours later that they had terminated Rice’s contract.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice’s contract this afternoon.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
Sept. 8, 12:50 p.m. Updated with comments from Deion Sanders.
Sept. 8, 7:01 p.m. Updated with background on Thursday Night Football.
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