Ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice said he would like to work with the NFL to raise awareness about domestic violence and to help prevent it. Rice has not been given a second chance to return as a player since his domestic violence incident in 2013 that led to his release by the Ravens.
“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,” Rice said Sunday while being interviewed on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “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 people 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, even one time.”
Photos of Nicole Holder, ex-girlfriend of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, were published Friday on the website Deadspin. Hardy was arrested in 2014 on charges of threatening and attacking Holder, when Hardy played for the Panthers. Hardy was convicted of domestic violence in a bench trial, but he appealed seeking a jury trial. The case was dismissed in February of 2015 when Holder stopped cooperating with police.
Rice was not released by the Ravens until video emerged of him punching his wife, Janay, who was then Rice’s fiancée. Asked why he thought Hardy was able to return to the NFL, while Rice has been unable to, Rice said, “I’m only in a position to speak about myself and focus on my situation, because every situation is different. But I truly 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. I used to have a situation where kids were like, ‘I want to 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.”
Rice’s domestic violence charges were dismissed in May after he completed a pretrial intervention program. Bengals tackle Eric Winston, president of the NFL Players Association, said on SportsCenter that Rice deserved another chance.
“I definitely think there’s been some sort of effort not to have him in the league,” Winston said.
However, if Rice never plays again, he would be open to helping the NFL in a role that could have long-lasting impact.