*Ray Rice is proving to be a pariah of sorts in the NFL.
While other athletes with similar abuse issues have gone on to reconnect with their careers, Rice is still being shunned over the 2014 video uploaded by TMZ Sports showing the alarming knock-out punch he delivered to then-fiancee, Janay Rice, in an elevator at an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino
The running back spoke to ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Sunday, and while his words speak to owning up to his actions, they may be falling on deaf ears.
“I totally understand what my visual did and the effect it had on society and the survivors of domestic violence. So, for me, to never be forgiven … I understand those things, and I totally take full responsibility for my actions. The one thing I can say is … I have made a lifelong decision to raising awareness about this.”
Rice says he will not give up on his dream to return to the sport he loves. But at the same time he feels bad that kids who used to look up at him, now see him in a different light.
“I used to have a situation where kids were like, ‘I wanna be like Ray Rice.’ And now I have to think about kids and parents saying, ‘I don’t want you to be like Ray Rice.’ And that haunts me.”
It’s always perplexing to hear abusers say what Rice is now espousing. How he wants to use the NFL platform to spread awareness about domestic abuse. Makes you want to say, dude, all we have to do is replay the video. I mean, what has he learned? What insight can he provide and what is it based on (other than I’m sorry you saw the video)? Did he go to therapy? What was the outcome? Can we hear from this therapist?
See? It just leaves a lot of questions.
But yet and still, Rice claims he want to warn those same kids that used to idolize him, against making the same mistake he did.
“I think the NFL has such a huge platform and I’ve seen the platform I had when I was playing, when I would go out and help people. I go out now, and I don’t have an NFL platform, but I’m going out there and helping people out. So if I never played a down again, why not see if I could use their platform to go out there and help make a difference…Young rookies, anybody in college … I want to be able to spread all of my experiences to help other people, to make them understand that domestic violence is not OK, not even one time.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Rice. Will the NFL be forced into feeling guilty because of the former players with similar infractions that have been given the two-game-suspension, only to be let back in? Or will he be the example they set?
The one that shows that domestic abuse is something to be taken seriously and deserves more than a “time-out?”