Disclaimer: The thoughts of Ray Rice are those of Reeta “The NFL Chick” and not a representation of Gridiron Gals as a whole
As a Ravens fan and former employee with the team, I’ve had the opportunity to meet numerous players and create business relationships with them. One of which is now former Ravens RB Ray Rice.
As we know, on February 15th, he and the- fiancee Janay Palmer got into an altercation at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Soon after, TMZ released a video showing Ray pulling and dragging an unconscious Janay out of the elevator. While the footage wasn’t good for Rice, I reserved judgment. The reason why is because, that wasn’t the Ray Rice I had come to know. That wasn’t the guy that took his responsibility as a role model very seriously. The guy that loved doing work in the community, that loved kids and that spoke to me passionately over the phone about wanting to help others. I wanted to give Ray the benefit of the doubt because when you know all of the good, you want to believe the bad simply isn’t true.
And then, yesterday occurred.
Yesterday, TMZ released a new video, showing the altercation inside the elevator. What I saw was horrifying. Disgusting. Very sad. I was hurt. Before that video, I only had a police report to fuel my imagination. All of that was wiped away with the viewing of reality . If I ever thought about defending Ray in the past, it was a no go now. From what started as an ill advised 2-game suspension, has now turned to a release by the Ravens and an indefinite suspension by the NFL as a result of yesterday’s events.
So where do I stand now? How do I feel about Ray and what do I believe the future should hold for him? Well, at this moment, I am very disappointed with him as well as the Ravens and NFL for how this has all been handled. Ray acted poorly and a 2 game suspension definitely wasn’t enough, but I also hold the NFL and Ravens accountable for going so light in his punishment, which ultimately led to his release (sacrificial lamb, in my personal opinion).
Ray should absolutely be held accountable for his actions. However, what I would like to see, is instead of colleagues, media, fans and others continuously condemning him and wishing him ill will, try and hope he continues to seek help along with his family. Domestic abuse is a very serious occurrence, which requires extensive counseling and other remedies to help the abuser and the abused. While it’s easy to kick a person when they’re down, the bigger contribution is to try and help them become the better person. Help them understand that what they did was wrong. Help them know to never do it again.
Many believe that Rice should be banned from the NFL. Personally I think this is a reach. With the history of domestic violence being swept under the rug by the league (see Brandon Marshall), it is unfair to make Rice the fall guy of an ongoing problem. If willing to put in the hard work, I believe anyone deserves a second chance. Rice wasn’t a regular offender, this was his first offense in which he received counseling as his punishment by the state of NJ, which means as of now he doesn’t fit the time with the new domestic violence regulations by the league. I believe that Ray should sit out this year to work out his issues. Use this time to reflect on the event that happened and the affect his actions has on his family and learn how to effectively communicate without force.
Maybe then, possibly in 2015, Ray Rice will once again be the guy that many people knew and grew to love prior to February 15th.