The San Francisco 49ers announced the suspension of radio announcer Ted Robinson on Wednesday night, in light of several controversial comments he made about Janay Palmer Rice, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and a survivor of domestic violence. After calling Palmer "pathetic" for marrying and standing by the man who abused her, Robinson was punished with a two-game suspension -- the same punishment initially leveled at Rice after incomplete footage of him brutalizing his wife (then-fiancée) was released.
Robinson's vexing comments came in response to a statement Palmer issued earlier in the week, in which she criticized the media for sensationalizing the footage to gain ratings. As reported by the Associated Press, Robinson went on a lengthy diatribe about Palmer's role in the assault while co-hosting KNBR, during which he called the victim's decision to stay with her abusive partner "the saddest part of it." Robinson also reportedly asserted that Rice "must have been in an altered state" when he punched Palmer in the face in February, and that "the victim here ... bares some of the responsibility ... for not speaking up" [sic], according to the LOL KNBR Twitter account.
The veteran broadcaster later issued an apology for his statements via the 49ers and Pac-12 Networks:
I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day ... 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 should ever be placed on a victim.
Robinson is expected to attend sensitivity training before he is allowed back on the air.