By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor
Baltimore Ravens star cornerback Jimmy Smith will miss the first four games of the season on a suspension for allegations of domestic abuse made by Smith’s former girlfriend.
But Smith’s teammate, veteran star safety Eric Weddle, recently questioned the severity of the punishment and told reporters that Smith never physically touched the accuser.
“I’m very close to Jimmy and it’s unfortunate with what happened,” Weddle said Aug. 23, according to the Baltimore Sun. “It’s hard to fathom arguing with your [significant other], never touching her and that gets you a suspension like this when guys are getting DUIs or physically abusing other people, and they never get near this [penalty]. I know details of it that I can’t get into, so I just feel bad for him. And it’s hard for a guy put into that spot, where he can’t really stand up for himself and tell the truth. Because if he does, it’ll be a lot worse in the grand scheme of things.” <http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/bs-sp-ravens-notebook-0824-story.html>
Though Smith never physically harmed his ex-girlfriend, who also is the mother of his child, the NFL determined that he was showing “threatening and emotionally abusive behavior” towards her.
Weddle believes the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, and blamed the league’s overreaction on the backlash that surrounded former Ravens star running back Ray Rice when a video surfaced years ago of him punching his then-girlfriend.
“Everybody goes back to Ray Rice and the video coming out, and they don’t want that to happen. I know for sure that was obviously on their mind,” Weddle said, per the Sun. “They know what this whole situation was about. It was never a physical confrontation. So obviously, there are some issues of he said and she said, things that he may want [to take] back. But it’s done now. Jimmy’s an up-front guy.”