By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The video is hard to watch and a slap-on-the-wrist punishment hard to imagine.
Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice is seen punching his then-fiance in an elevator at the Revel casino in Atlantic City back in February.
The video was released for the first time by TMZ.
Initially, the NFL gave Rice a two-game suspension. Now, the Ravens have terminated his contract.
Eyewitness News showed football fans the video.
"His arms are technically like a boxer's," said Phil Dupont, one fan. "They are like lethal weapons.
"He could've killed her, honestly. That's a big deal," agreed another, Joe McHugh.
Dr. Eric Zillmer is the director of athletics at Drexel University, and a professor of psychology.
He says football players are required to be aggressive in the game, but some, like Rice, may forget to leave it at the field.
"Athletes have to learn how to turn it off and on based on whether they are between the lines or outside of the lines," Dr. Zillmer says.
Dr. Zillmer says the video gets people talking about societal issues, too.
"Let's deal with this as a society, not only in the NFL, but really as a society. So I think it's a positive thing that all of this has come out."
"People who don't necessarily watch football are very interested in how the outcome of this is going to pan out," agrees social media professor Dr. Allison Novak, of Temple University.
She says the Ray Rice video was a hot topic in her classroom. She also explains that when people voice their opinions on Facebook and Twitter, the NFL really has no choice but to take notice.
"It almost takes it out of the sporting context and puts it into a more accessible context for pretty much everyone – this really becomes a human interest piece for them," Dr. Novack says.
The Ravens' head coach Jon Harbaugh held a press conference Monday night.
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