Rice isn’t cooked yet — but might be when he gets his day in court

February 20, 2014 | Drew Forrester

A lot of you have e-mailed me over the last few days wondering when I’d be rendering my opinion on Ray Rice and last weekend’s incident in Atlantic City.

Well, for starters, I’ve already opined on the elements of it that we know for certain: It’s a concern anytime you’re arrested, but particularly in the NFL where any brush with the law – prosecuted or not – can affect your team’s ability to use you in future games.  I also think the league won’t look kindly on this Rice incident occurring at a casino.  True, football players aren’t barred from hanging out at casinos, but that doesn’t mean they want you to have your own private parking spot at one of the gambling hot spots in Atlantic City, either.  As we all know, the one element of sports the NFL does its best to avoid is any contact at all with gambling.

That said, none of those “issues” address the main point of having an opinion on Rice.  The opinion everyone is making these days is “what should happen to Ray Rice?”

Here’s mine on the subject:  First and most importantly, I’m not making any sort of judgment on what “should” happen to Rice until the facts have been presented to the judge and he/she makes their professional decision on what the state of New Jersey will do in the form of punishment to Rice.

I waited until The Wells Report was released last Friday before I made my call on Richie Incognito and those other idiots in Miami who tortured Jonathan Martin.

I’ll wait until Rice has his day in court to say “this is what SHOULD happen to Rice”.  Rice’s attorney has told us from the beginning to allow his client to proceed through the legal process and we’ll learn more about the situation — so, I’ll give him the professional courtesy of allowing that to occur before I render my own verdict.

I’ll say this, though:  I fully expect Rice to be suspended by the league in a manner similar to what happened with Ben Roethlisberger; I suspect he’ll be suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season and eventually have that reduced to four games.

That’s what I “expect” — and I readily admit I’m “expecting” that well in advance of Rice having his day in court.

As for Rice, personally, I’ll continue to say what I said on Monday when I first addressed the situation on the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction.  My guess, knowing what I know about him and the general “after midnight casino lifestyle”, is that Saturday morning’s confrontation with his fiancee was probably fueled in (large?) part by alcohol.  That certainly doesn’t justify any sort of assault taking place, rather it puts into more proper perspective how a local athlete so strongly revered in the community could be involved in something like what transpired in Atlantic City with someone he’s planning on marrying.  Alcohol does a lot of bad things to people.  And it doesn’t pick or choose whom it adversely affects, either.

I have no interest at all in “breaking down the video” that was leaked yesterday to a national website.  I have no idea what it reveals, other than the obvious which is Rice is bringing his fiancee out of an elevator because, clearly, she’s not in any shape to bring herself out.  I see and hear a lot of armchair attorneys in town talking about the video clip and trying to find Rice guilty of “something” via that fifty seconds of film.  I won’t do that.

I assume the police filed charges on Rice and his fiancee based on the video they witnessed that showed the two of them strike one another.

That’s good enough for me.

I don’t need to see that video at all.  I’m not sure it’s our “right” to see it, honestly.

It’s part of a legal case at this point.  It should probably remain under lock and key until some sort of verdict is rendered by a judge.

Either way, though, I’ll trust the Atlantic City police who are much more experienced than I in dealing with this sort of stuff.

If the video showed Rice striking his fiancee with an open hand, whether or not that rendered her unconscious is of little importance to me, personally.  He struck her — that’s against the law — and he needs to be prosecuted to the extent the state of New Jersey deems reasonable.

Once that’s done, I’ll tell you what I think should happen to Ray Rice as it relates to his service with the Ravens and the league itself.

Lastly, if I could give Ray Rice any advice, it would simply be to take this time to use his faith and draw strength from a relationship with God that will help guide him through this situation.

Unlike fans in town, friends, enemies and members of the media, God will be a comforting source for Rice in the coming days. He knows the truth about Ray Rice’s heart and his work in the community and the sincerity with which he’s obligated himself to make Baltimore a better place for the people’s lives he’s touched over the last seven years.

God will accept his personal “guilty plea”, and forgive him, which is probably what Ray Rice needs right now more than anything.

Everyone else can pile on as they see fit.

12 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    at 6:27 AM February 20, 2014

    If the Women on HLN , or the other Fem Lawyer TV shows get wind of this, he could be looking at 15 to 20 years in the Pen. She may have just become un-rulely on the elevator after to much to drink and Ray was trying to settle her down . I hope that’s all it was .

  2. The Armchair QB Says:

    Obviously, more facts are needed here. But, here are a few lessons learned over the years when it comes to these types of matters: first is the presumption of innocence, closely followed by the fact that there are two sides to every story; often what is reported, heard, seen, written, etc., are easily misinterpreted; and, unsubstantiated allegations are just that! What’s important here is that BOTH allegedly hit each other and while we may have strong opinions about hitting a woman, the law of “self-defense” doesn’t necessarily look at it that way; BOTH were arrested, so there appears to be mutual culpability; and they WENT HOME TOGETHER, so there was no threat of further harm! Also, this is a case of “simple assault” as opposed to “aggravated assault”! First impression: a domestic dispute, possibly fueled by alcohol that got out of hand (no pun intended!)and will probably not result in a trial…….

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    IF Rice is flirting with a sinister lifestyle then this just may be the wake up call from the big man upstairs he needs to get right. Just a little warning shot across the bow.

  4. Brian Says:

    God, NFL, Ravens and even galpal will forgive.
    However, will Mr. Angelos? Ray was rockin an Oriole cap!!

  5. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    I always root for redemption for all. Like Drew, I cannot say what should happen with respect to his career. All I can control is my action and reaction to events and circumstances as they unfold.

    I hope that Ray Rice and his fiancee recognize that in all of this that they have another life (their daughter) that is greatly impacted by their action. I hope that football takes a backseat so the two of them can reflect on how they got to this point and that they take steps to correct the apparent dysfunction in their life.

    I root for Ray Rice and his fiancee to get it right. Right for me is to find a place of no enmity focused on their daughter’s well being. Together or apart, that is for them to determine what is best, but get to that place and I will cheer your accomplishment.

    Football accomplishments? Who cares?

  6. John In Westminster Says:

    Refreshing point of view from ‘the media’. Interesting, how it always seems to end up bad when we seek our own glory and satisfaction before His.

    Obviously, justice is the top priority here, but I’ll share my NFL thoughts. The result of the court case will likely determine the NFL’s decision. Unlike Ben, Ray’s perception was pretty clean before this. However, I believe the result will be the same. If no jail time comes of this, I see a 4 game suspension. However, I feel the decision will go uncontested by Ray.

  7. Steelers Fan Says:

    IF the allegations are true, IF is the big word here, the Ravens MUST drop or trade Rice a.s.a.p. To do otherwise sends the wrong message. S.Holmes had a similar situation after winning the Super Bowl MVP. Within a month, he was traded. The Ravens are a respectable organization like the Steelers – they won’t tolerate that behavior….again, if the allegations are true.

  8. Neil Says:

    Ray is a Momma’s boy. I wonder what Momma is thinking about Ray Ray.
    He carries her out of the elevator but leaves her legs in the door? Just how drunk was he? The security guard approaches and wouldn’t you think the first thing he would do is get the guard to help move her – maybe prop her up against the wall or something? No, he just leaves his Valentine lying there in no hurry to make her more comfortable or move her legs away from the elevator door. Oh, that right. Valentine’s day was Friday and this was Saturday morning.

  9. Robert Says:

    Admitting I’m woefully weak when it comes to predicting the future, I think Ray Rice, much like Ray Lewis had, has an opportunity for redemption. I also think that an integral part of changing Rice’s tarnished image will hinge on his ability to do a 180-degree turnaround with his on-the-field performance this upcoming season compared with last year’s results and in that event, many will forgive him, not necessarily forget though. Getting one’s spiritual matters right with one’s maker is a good 1st step.

    And to Drew’s point about alcohol playing a part, alcohol does tend to bring out “Id, the beast”, in otherwise rational men & women. One quote I have always found truth in from Brian “the Brain” Billick is:

    “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Cheers.

  10. BmoreB Says:

    Drew…. You may not want or need to see the video of what took place in that elevator but I’ll say this, Rice’s career hinges on the video being leaked or not. If it comes out and unfortunately I think it will, he’s done in the NFL. It’s a shame because he’s a good person that made a really, really bad decision.

  11. BK Says:

    I am sure I will get bashed for this because it is always accepted for people to throw out religious or God references, but as soon as someone says one thing to the contrary, they are no longer afforded the same right of opinion on the subject. Funny how that works…

    Yeah, God is the one he needs to turn to and make it right with. Really? How about a real person like a qualified therapist, addiction counseling, or mental health professional. You can ‘strike her (a woman) with his hand, rendering her unconsciousness’, but God will forgive you as long as you follow his lead, regardless of how immoral you are or have been. What a joke. How about being a man and accepting responsibility for what you have done, then try to improve upon it, learn from it, and be a better person going forward. That has nothing to do with God.

    ‘Good People’ do not strike women with the force that knocks them out cold. I was a big fan of Ray Rice’s too. Shame on all the bmore people for trying to make excuses or dance around the issue of how atrocious this was. You would be killing this person if they played for the Steelers or Yankees.

    Drew – The justice system exonerated OJ, so I guess you have no problem with what he did then and no negative comments about him? You don’t always need the justice system or ‘their day in court’ to be able to pass personal judgment.

  12. Steelers Fan Says:

    great comments BK. Totally agree – player does not need his day in court to make judgement. The media (eg. radio) share their comments all the time re: players (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA) who do dumb things and Drew has certainly shared his view on many, if not all of them. That’s what people in the media and radio do. And most of these players never had a day in court – because what they do might not be court worthy. Ray Rice’s actions are court worthy…because he will get his day in court and you don’t get your day in court unless you do something worthy. You’re also right – if this was the Steelers or Yankees, the blogs would be calling for blood. I would be STUNNED if the accusations are true and the Ravens keep Rice. Stunned.

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