Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is still attempting to get back in the good graces of the public eye after the domestic violence incident with his wife Janay early last year nearly cost him his football career.
Ever since the video of Ray punching his then-fiance in the face and knocking her out cold in an elevator following a 2014 Valentine’s Day dinner went public, both Ray and his wife Janay have been determined to convince the NFL, the fans, the media and just about anyone who will listen that Ray is a remorseful, rehabilitated, changed man. Janay faced much backlash from the female community for repeatedly coming to her husband’s defense despite the disturbing nature of the video clip that showed her take a violent blow to the face from her husband during an argument just before being left to lay in the elevator, but she’s yet again proving that the negative reaction from her female peers won’t deter her from insisting that the whole incident was “a mistake” and that her husband should be allowed to move forward with his football career. Speaking about the incident on a recent episode of ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” series, Janay said:
“[This] never happened before, and that’s not him. He’s been made out to be this monster and he’s not a wife beater. He’s someone who made a mistake, he’s human.
He’s done everything he’s supposed to do to redeem himself.”
Ray, who was released from the Ravens team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL before later being reinstated, has also been working overtime to rebuild his reputation in hopes of being picked up by a team ahead of the start of the NFL season in just a few weeks. In his most recent plea for forgiveness, Ray told ESPN’s Jemele Hill that he regretted not helping his wife up off the elevator floor after hitting her.
“I didn’t help my wife up. I did everything wrong. At that moment, I was out of my mind not to help her up. That’s what plays over and over in my mind. Just leaving her there, how could I have done that?”
He later amended his strange and seemingly aloof statement by adding that he shouldn’t have hit her in the first place. (Why that wasn’t the sentiment he expressed initially is just as much of a mystery to us as it is to you.)
“If I could do it different, I should have helped my wife up. I should have never put my hands on her, number one.”
While it’s no surprise that both Ray and Janay are back on their quest for public acceptance given that the fate of their financial future is solely dependent on Ray being picked up by another NFL team, they might as well accept that in the court of public opinion, Ray will be seen as guilty for many years to come. Although they seem to somehow think that Janay speaking out in defense of her husband will help his case for getting back into the NFL, the reality is that it’s hurting more than it’s helping.
As has been proven many times in these situations that involve high-profile public figures, the road to redemption for domestic violence offenders is a long and hard one that simply can’t be side-stepped.