Sincere Or Shady? Ray Rice Wants To Raise Awareness For Domestic Violence

November 9, 2015  |  

WENN

Nobody in the NFL wants to touch Ray Rice. While other athletes like footballer Greg Hardy and soccer player Hope Solo’s abusive pasts have been forgotten, Rice is something like a pariah. Still, the former running back hasn’t given up his dreams of working with the league, in one way or the other.

On Sunday, on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” Rice said that if he didn’t get a second chance to play again, he would like to partner with the NFL to raising awareness about domestic violence.

ESPN asked Rice what he thought about other athletes being allowed to continue playing their respective sports. He said that could only speak to his case and he did acknowledge that the video footage of the incident left an indelible impression.

“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 also spoke about the shift in his potential legacy.

“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.”

After he completed a pretrial intervention program, the domestic violence charge against Ray Rice was dropped. Still, with this season nearing its halfway point, it’s unlikely that he’ll be returning, particularly since he hasn’t had been offered an official tryout.

Rice continues to train in case he does receive the opportunity and said he would love to speak to younger players about not making the same mistakes he did. He believes working with the NFL would expand his reach.

“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.”

I’m so conflicted by this story.

I’ve always believed Ray Rice should have the opportunity to play football again after successful completion of one of the intervention programs. Still, a part of me always questions the motivation behind his interviews. And sadly, this one was no different. I can never be sure he says what he does because he wants the NFL to let him back into their good graces or because he’s truly repentant and wants to work to right his wrongs. I’m not sure what work he’s been doing to raise domestic violence awareness, but the announcement that this is now your lifelong mission seems a little self-serving to me. Perhaps, it’s too much to assume Rice would just do the work and allow other people to take notice.

Still, when other athletes with similar infractions are allowed to play again, he certainly should be given the same opportunity. The NFL is hypocritical. Had this video not been leaked to the public, he would have received the two game suspension and would still be playing with the Ravens today. At the end of the day, this is what this is really about. The league believes he’s too much of a liability, not that they stand with and support domestic violence victims and survivors. There are no angels here. The NFL has been turning a blind eye to incidents of violence and even deaths for years. Ray Rice was just happened to be the lone scapegoat.

What do you think about Ray Rice’s comments? Do they seem sincere to you? Do you think he should be allowed to continue playing?

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