Glover Quin: Ray Rice controversy a topic, but takes backseat to Lions trying to win games

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — In the wake of a report that said an NFL executive received a video of former Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his now-wife, commissioner Roger Goodell has been under fire, with many people wondering how long he can remain in power.

Lions safety Glover Quin, the team’s representative for the NFL Players Association, said it’s been a common talking point in the locker room.

“Things happen and you wonder what really happened or what really didn’t happen, and this and that,” Quin said. “But our main focus is really trying to win football games. Luckily, we’re not the Baltimore Ravens, so we don’t have to deal with all that comes along with it, but as you can see, we still have to deal with it some.”

Rice was accused of knocking then-fiancée Janay Rice unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February. Charged with felony aggravated assault, Ray Rice was accepted into a pretrial program that allowed him to avoid jail time, and the NFL levied a two-game suspension in July, which led to public outcry.

When TMZ officials released a video of the incident Monday, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The saga continued with an Associated Press report which led to the league hiring former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to conduct an investigation into who at the NFL office saw the video.

Goodell said previously, “to my knowledge,” nobody at the NFL had seen it.

Detroit safety James Ihedigbo spent the past two years with Rice in Baltimore and said they were friends. He called it a “terrible” and “upsetting” situation.

“I reached out to him (Monday) and kind of honestly gave him words of encouragement,” Ihedigbo said. “It’s kind of one of those things where you wake up, and it’s like the world’s against you kind of thing. So I just gave him words of encouragement, told him I’m praying for him and his wife and his family and things will work out.”

Ihedigbo and other Lions, though, don’t know how things will work out with the NFL.

“That’s not my decision,” Quin said when asked if Goodell should remain commissioner. “I’m a player, so first I’m going to play. And second, I’m a player rep, so I’m going to represent the players. And if we happen to come to a decision on what happens with Roger Goodell, I’m pretty sure we’ll have some things that we’ll talk about as a union.”

Some players see the NFL’s handling of the incident as a symptom of a larger problem. Ihedigbo doesn’t believe Goodell and league executives should be the ones determining player fines or suspensions.

“My opinion on the punishment policy, it was kind of flawed before this whole incident,” he said. “The judge and jury is based on one person or a group of individuals. That’s a whole different story. On this, he did the best he could at the time with what he had.”

Ihedigbo believes player punishments should be handled by someone not tied to the NFL or NFLPA, similar to the U.S. legal system that uses independent juries. In his first six seasons, Ihedigbo was fined twice for a total of $20,750.