Big-name pro and college athletes can make a big impression on people in their community. Their athletic talents often catch people's attention, but they can do things away from the field or the game which will help also.
It used to be that way all the time, but in this me-first world we live in now, its the exception rather than the rule. But Ray Rice is one of those athletes who wants to do more and realizes he can do something different.
The teams website had an interesting article which talked about Rices thoughts that he posted on Facebook following the tragic shooting at Perry Hall High School on Monday. Some early reports have said the boy who did the shooting was tired of being bullied and pushed around. Rice is big on people not being bullied.
The website talked about how Rice hosted A Ray of Hope: A Pro-Kindness, Anti-Bullying, Teen Suicide Prevention Outreach, an event which drew a big crowd at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia.
To that end, Rice posted some very interesting messages on Facebook on Monday and Tuesday about this. Heres one the Ravens put up in this articleHow do people stand by and do nothing? We need to start saying whats wrong? and do something about it before tragedy strikes! I cant help but wonder if someone was kind to these kids if their paths would have shifted long ago and tragedies would be averted. Just makes me thinkand wonderand hope for better things.
Hes right, you know. Too often, especially when it comes to kids, thats what happens. We stand and watch and nobody steps forward to do a thing. Then its too late.
But my words wont mean much, quite frankly. Yours might not either. However, when someone like Ray Rice or Joe Flacco or a big-name player says them, well, it just might get a person to listen and do something. Give Rice credit for doing this.