How Should Ray Rice be Perceived?

Published: Feb 22, 2014 23:20pm EST
By Jeff Kryglik, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 22, 2014 @ 11:50pm EST


We have a problem in society where we often reverse the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" and rush to judgment on a person before justice is ultimately served. 

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his fiancée were arrested for what is called a "simple assault" last week at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. reports that police have video of Rice knocking the woman unconscious and a video on shows Rice dragging a woman by her arms as her body appeared to have gone limp. 

There are still a lot of unanswered questions left on the table with this case, but things aren't looking good for the 27-year-old running back. Rice is coming off of the worst year of his career as a starter and this incident does nothing but tarnish the stability he has built during his tenure with the Ravens organization. Many are questioning what should happen to him as a result of the domestic violence charge even before the incident is settled in court.

As Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome stated, "I think John [Harbaugh] said it best [Friday] -- we will let facts determine what the consequences will be."

He also said the video of Rice dragging the woman "doesn't look good" and he's right.

Regardless of the legal trouble he gets into or the punishment he receives from the NFL/Ravens, Rice will likely not be viewed as a hero or role model by some of his fans.

Sure, there will be people sticking up for Rice despite his innocence or guilt. However, there is some sort of hypocrisy that exists in this situation and it can't help to bring up the question: Is there something about Ray Rice we don't see on the outside but is tucked away on the inside?

Consider this:

Darren Sharper is a former NFL safety and was an advocate for the safety of women. He is now under investigation for raping seven different women in four different states. Ray Rice is well-known for his work in the community and his anti-bullying campaign, yet this incident seems to suggest the opposite.

Should this incident be a direct representation of his character? 

It depends what the evidence says unfortunately.

Has he lost some fans from this incident? 

Absolutely, but he's also gained a minority that seems a bit off.

Those that justify hitting a woman, who may or may not have been Rice fans, are coming to his defense and declaring that laying hands on a woman can be considered acceptable given the context of the situation.

Befuddling. Perplexing. Disgusting.

Whether or not Rice did it is still a mystery, but how this argument came about is beyond belief. 

So, she may have spat on him. Alcohol was likely involved. She may have put her hands on him. He's a 200-plus pound professional running back in the National Football League. He gets paid to take a beating and dish them out every now and then. He can seriously hurt someone, especially a woman. Under no circumstance is that argument acceptable. Ever.

If Rice did it, he should not only deal with whatever the court decides, but he should be suspended at least 2-4 games by the NFL or Ravens for his actions. The NFL wants to give back to the community more than any other professional sports league in the world, while also helping the less fortunate improve their lives and teach them lessons to mold a better future for themselves and their families.

If Rice was an ordinary person, working a 9-5 job and not a top-notch professional athlete who plays an integral role on his team's week-to-week success, he would be joining a lot of fellow Americans in the unemployment line looking for work.

It's sad, but true. These athletes and entertainers are held to a higher standard than common folk and because of their contributions to society as individuals we place on pedestals, they are allowed to have some heinous actions go brushed under the rug.

Heck... look at Justin Bieber and see the circus he is allowed to run in the world.

And if you happen to follow Rice on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that he is not one to accept criticism well. Barking back at fans when any sort of criticism is brought his way as he views it as an act of bullying.

He hasn't said anything about this situation yet likely by orders of his legal team to protect what he has tarnished from his image.

It's hard to really rip a guy to pieces when the evidence isn't completely laid out on the table, but it doesn't look good at all for Rice. 

Do I think it looks bad for Rice and would I lean towards the guilty side?

Yes. Knowing that the incident occurred in a casino leads most to believe that there is some form of visual evidence that will back the initial police reports. Society today is full of surveillance and an incident like that would likely be well-documented from start-to-finish.

The perception of Rice will be damaged... for now. If he runs for 1,200 yards and flirts with 2,000 total yards from scrimmage next year, people likely won't talk about this event at season's end. 

Still, the Ravens can't cut Rice from a business perspective. The running back has Baltimore strapped for $14 million in guaranteed money with his newly-signed contract in 2012. No matter the bad publicity now, every team goes through these incidents at some point or another.

Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger...


Comments (1)

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 23, 2014 @ 02:44PM
    He should be perceived poorly. Being a well-known athlete and having lots of money shouldn't give a pass when it comes to domestic assault/abuse, or any crime for that matter. -

Jeff Kryglik
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