The San Francisco 49ers handed play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson a two-game suspension for questioning why Janay Rice would have married Ray Rice after he punched her so hard she as to render her unconscious in the elevator of a New Jersey casino.
Robinson, who has been the team’s announcer since 2009, courted controversy with his comments during an interview on KNBR radio on Monday, comments that caused the Pac-12 Networks and the 49ers to sanction him.
The broadcaster criticized the wife of the now fired player for marrying him even after he abused her.
During the interview, Robinson reportedly said, “How does she marry him after that? How does she go in front of Goodell [and stand by Rice]? That’s pathetic to me.”
Robinson went on to claim that Janay, “the victim,” also bears some responsibility in the situation for staying with the abusive player.
In a statement announcing the suspension, 49ers team president Paraag Marathe said, “The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization.”
“We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these,” Marathe continued.
Robinson’s employer Pac-12 Networks, also ordered Robinson to undergo “sensitivity training.”
Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans also commented on Robinson’s suspension. “Ted’s commentary on Monday was entirely unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the core values of Pac-12 Networks. We value Ted as a member of our team, but see this as an important learning opportunity as we work with him through sensitivity training before welcoming him back to our air.”
Finally, the broadcaster released a statement apologizing for his comments.
“I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day,” Robinson said in a statement. “As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility for domestic violence should ever be placed on a victim,” Robinson said.
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