The biggest sports news of the day comes from Baltimore, and it has nothing to do with the Ravens’ season opener.
Running back Ray Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday after TMZ released a disturbing video of Rice apparently punching his then fiance in an Atlantic City casino in February.
The NFL has received backlash for the way it handled the situation, suspending Rice for just two games, causing the league to change its policy against domestic violence cases. The first violation results in a six-game suspension while the second incident will trigger a lifetime ban.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was asked about the Rice situation and what challenges coaches face to making sure players stay away from off-the-field issues. Here’s the entire quote:
“First of all, I heard about it when I was walking down. I heard there was a video about it, and I was walking downstairs to come here. I’d heard he had been released, so I don’t know that much about it but as far as the question you’re asking, I’m always proud of the league and what it represents and the way it wants our players to act. Just like with the Vikings organization, I want our players to act in a certain way. Does it make it difficult sometimes? Yes, and I’m not speaking in reference to Ray Rice because I’m just talking about our guys and what we do. But I do think that if we continually talk to our players about doing the right things, bringing in the right kind of people – and again I’m not talking about Ray Rice, I’m talking about here and what we believe in – is that we will continually try to uphold the standards that the league wants.”
The Vikings have dealt with a domestic violence case in each of the last two seasons, though the team took action after both players were arrested or charged. Cornerback Chris Cook was acquitted on all charges that he assaulted his girlfriend in 2012, but the Vikings suspended him after he was charged. Cook wasn’t allowed to be around the team while the case played out, missing 10 games as a result.
Cornerback A.J. Jefferson was released last season the same day he was arrested for domestic violence in November.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stepped onto the podium and rubbed his wet hair before making his opening statement in the team’s 34-6 victory over the Rams on Sunday.
It was Zimmer’s first career win as a head coach, prompting the team to give him a celebratory Gatorade bath in the final moments of the game.
Expect it to be the last one during the regular season.
“I told them I don’t want any more until I win the big one,” Zimmer said.
“He got a Gatorade shower?” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “Good for him. I’m sure somebody’s going to be in trouble for doing that.”
While Zimmer thought his team played well, he still sought room for improvement in the blowout victory. Zimmer was far from content in the victory, citing the Vikings’ seven penalties for 60 yards with the bulk occurring in the first half.
“Mmm, it was OK,” said Zimmer of the defense that collective five sacks, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown. “We still have a long way to go. It is so easy in this ball game, in this profession to jump on and off the bandwagon. We just want to continue to get better every day.”
When asked how he’ll celebrate his first victory, Zimmer paused for a few seconds before answering the question how you’d expect him to respond.
“I don’t think so,” Zimmer said. “I’ll probably watch the game on the way home. We got an early start tomorrow, so red wine for me.”
The Twins gave up more than twice as much offense as the Vikings on Sunday, matching their season highs in both runs and hits allowed (19) in a 14-4 drubbing by the L.A. Angels on Sunday at Target Field. Howie Kendrick, Mike Trout and C.J. Cron all homered for Los Angeles.