Should Ray Rice come back?

For those who don’t know him, Ray Rice was a football player who was video recorded knocking out his fiance on a New Jersey casino elevator this year. For this, he was given a a two-game suspension. After the video surfaced, the National Football League panicked and increased his suspension indefinitely.

This week, a judge ruled that the National Football League inappropriately increased Rice’s suspension, and dropped it back down to two games, already served.

What that now means is that Rice is eligible to play immediately.  Forget about this year. No team is going to pick him up with only a few games left on the current schedule. He is done until next year.

But what about next year? Will teams take a player who committed such an egregious act?

Unlike child beater Adrian Peterson, I hope Rice gets another chance to play. Everything I’ve read about this guy indicates that he was an incredible off the field ambassador, unmatched perhaps by anyone in the league, in doing wonderful things on behalf of his previous team, the Baltimore Ravens.

Because Rice was so wonderful , the Ravens’ love for Rice played in creating this mess. By quietly trying to work with the commissioner to get a soft penalty for a guy they cared about, they unintentionally created a disaster. Once the video surfaced, the Ravens and the National Football League had no choice but to bail out on Rice.

But,  before moving on, how about the victim? What about Rice’s wife, who was then his fiance? In an interview with Jamelle Hill this week, Janay Rice indicated that she, as well as all of the women in her family, had never been victims of violence. She intensely regretted the role she played in this affair (and that is a dangerous place to go).  It seems as though their relationship was, and is, for the most part, solid.

So for my part, I think Rice deserves another chance. Hopefully next year, another team will determine that Rice can help them, and put him on the field. And that would be a good thing.

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