@One Eyed Mind,
My idea of punishment with respect to????
I'll assume you mean what would be the appropriate punishment for an NFL player who commits a criminal act "outside of being on the field?" Well, speaking as an associate in the healthcare field I believe that personal issues that are not associated with a hospital corporation or affiliates ought to not be punishable. I feel like whatever I do outside of work whether criminal or otherwise I shouldn't have to hear about it from my employer. However, if you're a licensed professional you have a greater obligation by your state to uphold a certain character that is lawful and it is your duty to maintain that character.
For example nurses can get their license suspended if:
1) They are behind on child support
2) If they commit a felony in relation to the qualifications, functions, and duties of their profession
Similarly with doctors so I think when it comes to being a licensed professional, the greater the duty to be lawful. What is different is those that are unlicensed as they have less of an obligation (but an obligation nonetheless) to uphold a particular lawful character. In the case of Ray Rice, players who are being paid beyond six figures and are being treated (free of charge) by the team for physical ailments and other issues that effect their ability to play have an even greater obligation. That obligation comes from the corporation of the NFL.
Let's be honest, the NFL doesn't punish players for drug offenses and domestic violence because it is upholding some moral code, it punishes players because they do not want to loss sponsors and endorsements. The NFL like the MLB and NBA and NFL are all logos that are meant to draw in families to make money and entertain. I think what many feminists and domestic violence advocates fail to realize is that by you antagonizing the company is not going to trickle down to the players because when it comes down to it, if a woman is married to a multi-millionaire who is abusive and you ban that person, you're not only effecting the antagonist, but also the victim.
By doing such things makes women who are true victims of domestic violence less likely to come forward because all she is going to think about is "what about me and the kids!" So in my opinion an appropriate punishment would be a 3 game suspension without pay, have the player sign a contract to meet with a MFT (Marriage Family Therapist), a clinical psychologist/psychiatrist to perhaps treat any underlying anger issues, and have the player reaffirm their contract regarding off the field conduct and have the player sign some sort of promissory contract to where they acknowledge awareness of receiving the help from the organization and that the person will make some sort of conscious effort to maintain integrity and if the player violates this, the players contract is void and subject to being suspended and/or released from the team.
I would rather help the player than appease advocates because they're former victims and feel like players ought to be severely punished. What these advocates don't realize is that many of these men were perhaps victims themselves who never sought the help. Football is about testosterone and aggression so of course your average coach is not about to soften a player up by getting them to psychiatric counseling to have them get in touch with their feelings, especially if that aggression helps the team win an NCAA title.
I think the NFL being the zenith of professional football has more of an obligation to contain a player's behavior because of their image.