Ray Rice's brutal assault on his then-fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator may not cost him his future as an NFL player. In an interview with CBS earlier this week, Norah O'Donnell asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell what an "indefinite" suspension really means:
O'Donnell: What does that mean that he was suspended indefinitely? Does that mean Ray Rice will never play in the NFL again?
Goodell: I don't rule that out, but he would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue. Clearly, he has paid a price for the actions that he's already taken.
If the past is any indicator, Rice may be given a second chance. After all, Goodell does have a record of forgiveness. In an interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes in 2012, Goodell discussed his approach to players' discipline problems and said the NFL is in "the business of extending careers, not ending careers."
Citing one example, Goodell spoke about the moment he decided to reinstate quarterback Michael Vick, who had been suspended for participating in an illegal dog-fighting ring.
Goodell told Kroft he realized Vick was ready to come back to the NFL at a hearing in which attorneys argued that Vick had been influenced by "someone who was very close to him."
"Michael interrupted them at that moment and said, 'That's not true. This is my responsibility. I made the decision to engage in this. I was wrong,'" remembers Goodell. "And that was when I realized this young man's ready to return to football."