Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) – A new report by ESPN, says that way back in June, Baltimore Ravens star Rice had already admitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he had punched his then-fiancée inside an Atlantic City elevator, knocking her out cold, as seen in a video obtained by TMZ.
Goodell waited until this week to suspend Rice, telling CBS News the delay was because before the second video inside the elevator surfaced, the violence was "ambiguous."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, is one of 16 female senators that just wrote a letter to the NFL demanding a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence.
"Roger should lead the reform. And if he's lied, which is the most recent debate, about when he knew things, I think he has to be fired, he has to step down," Gillibrand said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
"We have players who are playing that have been convicted of domestic violence. It's a huge problem. We have to value our women more," she said.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh criticized the senators' letter, and also the way politicians and media have handled the Rice story.
"We're feminizing this game and it's a man's game. And if we keep feminizing this game, we're going to ruin it. If we keep chickifying this game we're going to ruin it," Limbaugh said.
"If he believes criminals should be playing in the National Football League, he has a serious issue," Gillibrand said.
"These are criminal cases of assault, and battery, and sexual violence. And our players are role models. We don't want young kids looking up to these folks who are beating their wives. It's not right," said Gillibrand. "We should have a zero-tolerance policy and he's wrong."
For more of our interview with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, including her new book "Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice," check out the video above.