Ray Rice—remember him?—is in full get-a-job-mode. He penned a letter to the fans of the Ravens in the Baltimore Sun, which could be a genuine gesture but surely is an attempt to improve his image, which was obliterated in an Atlantic City hotel elevator last February.
Rice is starting early. Two weeks after the Super Bowl, he understands the time is now to continue to show contrition for striking his wife, creating a firestorm around domestic violence that has raised awareness in significant ways.
All that aside, Rice deserves another shot in the NFL. White offensive lineman Richie Icognito, who bullied a Black teammate and used many obscene and racist remarks in doing so, signed with the Buffalo Bills after a year of being ostracized.
Rice has served his time for his crime. Let him play football. There surely is a team in the NFL in need of a reformed man who is a reliable, hard-running versatile running back. The Ravens cut him in the aftermath of his lowest moment. But he said he remains part of that organization.
The Sun reported that Rice plans to move to New York as he prepares to return to the league. Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, but after video showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, his current wife, was made public, the commissioner said he made a mistake and suspended Rice indefinitely. Rice later appealed the suspension and won. The three-time Pro Bowler was reinstated by the league in November but has not signed with a team. Hopefully, that will change between now and training camp.
Here is Rice’s letter to fans:
“The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives,” he wrote in the letter. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl.
“To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue.
“I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.”