Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand slammed the NFL Wednesday, saying their response to revelations Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hit his wife made her "furious."
"They handled it so poorly," Gillibrand said on MSNBC Wednesday, while promoting her new book Off the Sidelines. "I'm so furious about this. There were no facts at issue. He admitted to beating his wife. We saw the video of him dragging her out of an elevator. There was nothing left to be discussed. He should have been fired right there and then."
Gillibrand said the NFL's response was emblematic of culture, in which star athletes or members of the military are protected from allegations of sexual assault due to institutional bias.
"Our NFL players are role models to our kids. And what are we saying about whether we value women today? I think it was outrageous. It's not surprising. This institutional support of the star player. We see that same dynamic on college campuses. We see the same dynamic in the military where that star soldier needs to be protected — 'He couldn't have possibly raped that young woman.' It is problematic when the decision makers are institutions who have bias, who want to protect their own and don't want to see justice done. And it really goes to this larger message of do we value our women and girls?"
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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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