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The NFL should impose a tougher penalty on Ray Rice for punching his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City, N.J., elevator earlier this year, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Monday.

Blumenthal said a new video showing the Baltimore Ravens’ running back hitting Janay Palmer, who is now Rice's wife, shows the NFL got its punishment wrong.

“The video released today emphasizes how egregiously weak and wrong the initial penalty against Ray Rice was — as the commissioner has acknowledged — and it constitutes new, powerful evidence that requires the commissioner to reconsider and reach a stronger punishment,” Blumenthal said in a statement. 


TMZ obtained a video clip that showed Rice punching the woman inside an elevator in Atlantic City and dragging her out. Earlier video has shown Rice dragging Palmer but had not shown the punch.

The NFL has only suspended Rice for two games as the consequence for the domestic violence incident. The NFL said it had only seen the new video on Monday.

“The NFL took a positive step forward with its new policy on domestic violence, but in the wake of this new video, allowing Ray Rice to take the field after only a two-game suspension would be a disappointing step backwards,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal and his colleagues Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in July calling on him to develop procedures to handle domestic violence cases and to punish Rice. 

In a letter to NFL team owners late last month, Goodell said the league would increase penalties for players involved in domestic violence cases. 

Players who commit such assaults in the future would be suspended for six games, Goodell said, and would be banned for life from playing football if the player repeats the offense. A repeat offender would be allowed, however, to apply to be reinstated after one year.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was recently suspended for the season for violating NFL drug policies.