“I understand the matter is serious with the climate in the world,” Carr, who is entering his second season as a teammate of Smith, said Thursday. “Hopefully we all can learn from this and become stronger.”
Smith was suspended by the NFL on Tuesday for violating the personal conduct policy. The league discovered “evidence of threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors” by Smith toward a former girlfriend who is the mother of his first child, according to the Ravens. There was “a pattern of improper conduct,” the team added.
Ravens safety Eric Weddle called the length of Smith’s suspension excessive in an interview with 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],” he told the newspaper. “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.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn’t comment on Smith’s suspension, referring reporters to the team-issued statement. “We’ll move forward and try to win football games,” he said. “That’s our task.”
Neither owner Steve Bisciotti nor front-office members have publicly talked about the decision to keep Smith, the team’s top cornerback.
Smith’s suspension comes less than four years after the Ravens released running back Ray Rice for a domestic violence incident. The team hasn’t signed or drafted a player with domestic abuse in their past. Asked whether the Rice ordeal affected the team’s decision with Smith, Harbaugh said, “I appreciate the questions. I guess I’m the one up here answering them. I don’t have anything further to add to all of that. My focus is getting our team ready to play.”
Harbaugh said he supported the team’s decision to keep Smith after his suspension. He indicated that Smith will play in Baltimore’s final two preseason games.
“From the father/coach in me, I know there are mistakes that are made in life,” Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said. “He’s going to have to deal with it. It’s a very serious matter.”