As if you needed one more voice to chime in on controversial Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy, equally controversial and former Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice was given a chance this morning tow weigh in with his thoughts and commentary.
“One thing I would encourage Greg (to do) is to take a deeper look into what the severity of domestic violence is,” Rice said on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton Show.” “It’s better late than never.”
Hardy was convicted of domestic violence charges in 2014, but the case was later dismissed after his ex-girlfriend stopped cooperating with authorities with the investigation. Hardy served a four-game suspension after the NFL cut six games from the original 10-game sentence, and he has been nothing but a headache and distraction since joining the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones initially defended his signing of Hardy by calling him a team leader, but he has more recently scaled back his praise for his signing. Hardy’s explosive attitude with coaches and teammates probably had an effect on that.
Rice, of course, is no stranger to domestic violence headlines. Rice was charged for assault after a physical altercation in an Atlantic City casino in February 2014. He faced three to five years in prison for third-degree aggravated assult but criminal charges were later dropped after Rice went through counseling sessions. The whole situation was handled poorly by the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s employment with the team and Rice has not stepped on an NFL field since. So he has plenty of time to make some media rounds when given the opportunity as he waits for another opportunity in the league.
“You have to be sincere in your actions,” Rice said as he discussed Hardy. “Show it on and off the field. Take that uniform and use it for what it’s worth. You don’t have to win another football game, you don’t need another dollar to go out and make a difference in other peoples’ lives.”
If Rice is not going to be playing in the NFL, he hopes to be able to help the league out in other ways to raise awareness of domestic violence and talk to players about the impact it has. There is something to be said about players learning from their mistakes and actions, and sometimes having players that have gone through dark times to whatever degree that may be speak to and share stories with younger players can have a lasting impact. If the NFL embraces Rice as a voice of experience in this area, maybe it resonates with the league’s younger players.
“Domestic violence, especially given what I’ve had to go through, I know there’s no place in society for it,” Rice said. It’s just a shame he had to come to that realization the way he has.
You can hear highlights from Rice’s interview on CBS Sports Radio below.