LOS ANGELES: Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith will be suspended for the first four games of the season, the National Football League said on Tuesday, after an allegation of domestic violence.
Smith was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after an investigation into allegations made by the mother of his first child.
An NFL investigation found there was evidence of “threatening and emotionally abusive behavior” by Smith towards the woman.
The suspension comes four years after the Ravens’ then-star running back Ray Rice was involved in a domestic violence case, which prompted a shake-up of the way the NFL treats the issue.
In a statement released by the Ravens, Smith apologised for his behaviour.
“I would like to sincerely apologise to my former girlfriend, the NFL, the Ravens organisation, my coaches, my teammates, my fiancée, and all our fans,” Smith said. “I’m very disappointed that my past actions have led to this suspension. I promise that I have already learned much and will continue to learn more from this experience.”
“I believe I am, and will continue to try to be, a better person and a better father because of this. I am committed to being the best I can be, both on and off the field.”
“I take full responsibility for my past conduct. Moving forward, I will work with the NFL and the Ravens to ensure that what happened in the past will never happen again.”
Smith will be eligible to return to the team on October 1.
The Ravens, meanwhile, said Smith had completed an evaluation and was willing to undergo treatment if necessary.
“We believe he is taking the proper steps to improve and that he can change,” the Ravens said in a statement.
“Jimmy has assured us that he is fully dedicated to making this change. He also understands the consequences if he does not.”