An open letter to Ray Rice

February 21, 2014 | Drew Forrester

An open letter to Ray Rice

Dear Ray,

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first.  I’m pulling for you.  More than anything, I’m pulling for you and your fiancee’ to work your way through this for the benefit of not only yourselves and your future, but that of your daughter.  Nothing is more important than your family.  Make your family a priority, which I’m sure you will, and you’ll do just fine.  Football, for the time being, is very much secondary.

There’s no real need to stress how disappointed we all are with you and your actions in that casino last Saturday morning.  I’m disappointed in you.  The team is disappointed in you.  You, I’m sure, are disappointed in you.  So, that’s the end of the finger-wagging and me telling you how bad of a boy you’ve been.  You know it.

Now, for the rest of the story, as the saying goes.

You’re no doubt embarrassed about what happened last weekend in Atlantic City.  Notwithstanding the very serious legal situation you’re involved in — which trumps football by a long shot — you’re obviously aware of how your actions and involvement in a domestic-violence case can potentially affect the way the Ravens look at you as an employee.

One thing you’re definitely finding out this week — this situation is going to affect how the fans in town look at you as a football player.  You’re going to need some thick skin, my man, a fact I’m sure you’ve discovered if you’ve seen the internet or checked your Twitter account this week.  If you think Baltimore’s tough on you, wait until the fans in Pittsburgh and Cleveland get a hold of you next season.  It’s not going to be pretty.

Speaking of the way Baltimore has turned on you this week, please know this:  Some of that…well, MOST of it, frankly, is due to the fact you’re coming off a bad season on the field and your 2014 salary cap figure is thought by many to be hamstringing the team in their efforts to rebuild and improve.  If you were coming off a rushing season that included 1,600 yards and 12 TD’s, the football community would be more forgiving of your actions last weekend.  Unfortunately, they’ve been wanting your blood since about week six of the recent NFL season and this, now, gives them the opportunity to quench that thirst.

By the way, I wasn’t all that impressed with your work on the field last season, either, but I don’t connect that with your arrest in Atlantic City.  They’re two completely different topics.

So, while you’re probably taking a lot of advice from folks in your family, your “camp” and your circle of friends, let me give you some more to consider.

First, Ray, please don’t let what happened last weekend define you as a person, an athlete and a Baltimore sports representative.  Don’t stop your work with the anti-bullying campaign you’ve been so involved with over the last few years.  The message you’ve been sending is an important one and I know, having been involved in an event or two where you’ve also been in attendance, that young men and women in town need someone like you to stress to them the dangers of youth (and adult) bullying.

You might recall a few years back when I was involved in an event Ben Grubbs was holding and you were there, too, with a bunch of young boys and girls from the Police Athletic League.  I’ve seen a lot of athletes over the years engage with kids but your work that night was magical.  And real.

Don’t stop now.  Keep going, please.  The city needs you.  I know you have other issues — personal and professional — to get straightened out and please do that.  But once you’re back and your life is in balance again, continue that outstanding work you’ve been involved with over the last six years since you came to Baltimore. This community is in dire need of help — like most communities are these days — and people like you who put your heart and soul into it need to do more, not less.

This, now, is a great time for you to lean on God and your faith to help bring you through this and redeem yourself and your character.  There are two people at the Ravens facility you should seek out immediately, because they’ll both help you.  Go see Rod Hairston, the team chaplain, close the door to his office, and simply ask him “How can God help me get through this and make sure what happened in Atlantic City never happens again?”  Rod will give you some answers.  So, too, will God.  Go do the same thing with your head coach, John Harbaugh.  Ask him the same questions you ask Rod.  John’s an insightful man who’s deeply connected to his faith and he’ll give you some great guidance.

And finally, you need to take a deep, serious look at your alcohol use to determine if it’s becoming a problem.  If it is, seek help.  That’s simple.  And, I’m sure, it’s not the easiest thing to do to take that deep of a look at yourself and admit you’ve lost control of your ability to have a drink or two without it adversely affecting your decision making. But you must have that conversation with yourself and, if necessary, a professional with experience in alcohol and drug abuse to determine if you need help.  If you do, get it. No matter what you think, you can’t beat alcohol, if, in fact, you’ve reached the stage of not being able to control it.  Have that tough talk with yourself and move forward.

I wish you all the best in your legal situation and your personal relationship with your fiancee’.  I know you didn’t plan on this happening.  But it did.  Now, you need to deal with it and, as I wrote above, work your ass off to make sure it’s not your defining moment in Baltimore.

I know you’re better than what you showed in Atlantic City last weekend.

Now, please prove me right.

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15 Comments For This Post

  1. Robert Says:

    Bravo.

  2. John in Westminster Says:

    Well done.

  3. OVER40DON Says:

    Well Drew you referenced God again so I guess BK will crawl back from under his rock again post his disgust again. Nice article BTW.

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    Good article, Drew! He has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, thanks to all the media hype. And, regardless of the outcome, his image has been severely tarnished. But, as I stated this morning, I’ll withhold judgment until ALL THE FACTS are known! In the interim, with the exception of the video showing him pulling his financee from between the elevator doors and closing her legs to avoid embarrassment, all we know is what has been reported, which are nothing more than allegations, speculation and innuendo at this point. The least the guy is entitled to is a presumption of innocence…….

  5. Jason Manelli Says:

    Nicely done…more proof DF is the voice of the real fans.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Open letter to Ray Rice:

    Ray, stop beating women. If there’s video evidence of you doing this once, you’ve probably done it many times regardless of your reputation And if you really want to make a positive impact in Baltimore, the US and in the black community specifically, suspend the anti-bullying campaign immediately, which has been great, and start a campaign to encourage men, particularly black men, in the US from procreating before marriage.

    Life is tough even in ideal circumstances. To add the unnecessary stress of bastard children to your life whether you’re rich or poor creates conditions in which life becomes very difficult and bad things are likely to happen.

    It’s not that hard. Stay in school. Stay off the crack. Don’t have pre-marital sex. And if you do have pre-marital sex put a football helmet on that player.

  7. BK Says:

    OVER40DON – If you want to believe in a talking snake, that is fine with me and is your right. All I am saying is that God has absolutely nothing to do with this or what Ray needs to do after the fact. If you want to be a weak person and crawl back to ‘God’, say 10 hail Mary’s and be forgiven, then that is your way. The right way would be to face the issue as a man, take responsibility, and work your a$$ off to try to get back to a respectable level, not use God as a crutch.

    You also could not be more of a hypocritical person. Why are you (people) allowed to push your views on me constantly, but we are not allowed to respond at all or give our view on the subject? HYPOCRITICAL. If we do, then we are some sort of lessor person or demon for it. HYPOCRITICAL. Your view is no more right or wrong then mine, and until ANYONE provides physical proof to the contrary, then you should be more open-minded.

    I also laugh at the fact that you Drew lover’s still accept him calling you an idiot right to your face and agreeing with it. Ex: He says almost everyone else will hold last year’s footballs season against Ray when passing judgment about this issue, then a sentence later, says he would never do that himself of course. LMAO

    BTW – The two have nothing to do with each other and I don’t think any of us would hold that against him in this issue. If anything, he is getting slack on it because he is a beloved Raven. This issue is plenty horrific on it’s own.

  8. BK Says:

    BTW – Amen Chuck. Very nice post.

  9. OVER40DON Says:

    Hey BK GO F@*$ YOURSELF. Why do you bother chiming in. Go push some liberal failing agenda somewhere else. Plenty of BLOGS that have nothing to do with sports available for your secular agenda. Noone is pushing anything on YOU. You chose to read this blog for some stupid assed reason. You seem to detest Drew and his broadcast style, Go away and STAY WAY.

    With, perhaps, the exception of ARMPITTSBURG Steve I don’t remember anybody that has much agreement with your ANTI- religious rants. I’m not a thumper and I don’t perceive Drew as one either . However, I believe the point is, GOD might be of some comfort to MR. Rice dealing with his demons. I don’t think Drew expects EVERYBODY to agree with him and will gladly argue/debate any subject with a reasonable person. U R ARE not reasonable. Frankly, U R ans A-hole in IMHO.

    Now go back under your rock and stay there, you TWIT.

  10. Drew Forrester Says:

    Gang (not including BK — but for the rest of you who get in and comment),

    Let’s be a little careful about some of things you’re writing and saying here with respect to BK. I know your heart is in the right place and it’s aggravating to see someone just come in and add negativity every time he chips in, but it’s a free world in that regard.

    I would prefer you not engage with him, frankly. This blog is intended for people to read, digest, opine and interact with me if you have an issue or a comment about the work I produced.

    It shouldn’t be used as a forum to lash out at other commenters, even in the case of BK who clearly just shows up here to troll and wreak havoc.

    Please do your best to refrain from going back and forth with him — and if you do, I ask that you please use don’t use foul language and/or make rude remarks in his direction. I’d ask that you rise above the fray…do it for me.

    Just allow him to post whatever he wants and try your best to just leave it alone.

    You remember the sign at the zoo: “Don’t feed the animals”.

    DF

  11. OVER40DON Says:

    Ok Drew, MY bad.

  12. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    Maybe sometimes God’s way of giving you a wake-up call is to let you screw things up, not in a major way that causes serious injury or worse, but just to the point that you step back and say, “Whoa, I need to look at my life and where I am headed.” It is said that God never gives us more than we can handle. I think Mr. Rice can handle this and work to get his life back on track.

    Drew, you are so right that family is everything. The most important issue here is that little girl who needs the love of both of her parents. Mr. Rice and Ms Janay should focus on that young life they are responsible for.

  13. unitastoberry Says:

    I’ve had a few of those wake up calls in my 55 years. Sometimes you need to just reverse gears. Drew you should be in the state department well put in the comment section. Peace!

  14. Marty Says:

    Ray you lost me when you caused trouble at Dundalk High School over the fall commenting on things you knew nothing about and causes an unnecessary media blitz at DHS. You weren’t man enough to admit that your assumptions at DHS were wrong. As far I’m concerned, you are a hypocrite telling kids to do what you say but not what you do. My feelings have nothing to do with your subpar season last year. It has to do with the fact that you were seen dragging an unconscious woman (supposedly the woman you love)from an elevator with about as much concern for her as a stray dog. I don’t know what happened in that elevator, and I know we must give you due process; but after the DHS incident and the Atlantic City affair, I think you’re nothing more than a punk.

  15. Mark Says:

    Gentleman-
    If we are to bring God into the discussion, could we consider Matthew 5:44, ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

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