Ravens PR chief, owner rise to the defense of Ray Rice
Posted by Darin Gantt on July 25, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT
After leading the league in offseason arrests, enduring the backlash that stemmed from a punishment which practically no one agrees is fair (and then signing a three-time violator of the league’s drug and PED policies), the Ravens have taken the obvious next step in a fabulous week for their image.
They’ve had their senior vice president of public relations write 1,200 words about what a great guy Ray Rice is.
To his credit, longtime PR man Kevin Byrne understands that he’s not going to change many minds, but apparently felt compelled to share some personal reflections about all the good things Ray Rice has done.
Then again, he also oversees the messaging for a team that thought it would be a good idea to live-tweet Janay Rice’s apologizing for getting knocked out, bringing victim-blaming rushing into the 21st century with an deft social media flourish.
He also used his position to get a nice EXCLUSIVE with his boss, Ravens owner Steve Biscioitti, after asking if he thought this was a good idea.
“That’s your call,” Bisciotti said. “I don’t think Ray needs it, and I don’t think you’ll change the minds of those who don’t want to have anything to do with Ray. . . . How sad we all are that he tarnished his image. No one outside, I’ve learned, can understand how we look at these guys as our sons and close friends as opposed to just employees.
“I saw that clearly when we lost the AFC championship at New England [at the end of the 2011 season],” the owner continued. “I had friends tell me, ‘You must hate Lee Evans or Billy Cundiff. They cost you a trip to the Super Bowl.’ It was the opposite – we felt for Lee and Billy. I wished that they’d get another chance. I felt the need to protect them like I would one of my sons. It’s not like that in my other businesses.
“Don’t we all have days or moments or periods in our life we regret? Ray showed great character for the six years I’ve known him. He has shown remorse after a bad incident. It was out of character. I don’t think now is the time to abandon him. You say we are a Ravens’ family. I’ve come to believe that.”
This is followed by the kind of things you’d expect someone who likes Ray Rice to tell you, about his remorse and civic concern, and another affirmation from Bisciotti that taking care of their own was a good idea.
But it’s probably not, if only for the fact it underscores how tone-deaf the Ravens have been throughout this entire incident.
Having a press-conference with no questions allowed was a sham, a clumsy effort to divert attention on a Friday afternoon. Live-tweeting Rice’s wife trying to jump on a grenade for her husband that day was tasteless at best. John Harbaugh’s tone of mild annoyance in discussing Rice’s two-game absence was cringe-worthy.
And frankly, trying to explain away the negative reaction to domestic violence is beneath them.
Unless, of course, it isn’t.
Personally, I do not believe race to be a factor and will not until a guy like Russell Wilson or RG3 does something stupid and receive a punishment as light as what Rice received...
It's not even being a QB, it is because it was Goodell's first chance to nail a white player. He was getting heat from all the former black players in the media, especially NFL Network, about what he did to PacMan, Henry and others. This was his chance to nail a white guy and he went way over the top. Anyone still naive enough to make an excuse for what Goodell did to Ben has their head buriied in the sand and or are just afraid to acknowledge the racial element to this because it is uncomfortable.
What he gave Rice is a disgrace for beating a woman. You can get more punishment for multiple high hits on the football field.
No doubt Goodell's favorite flavor of the week, Ray Lewis, was advising him what a GRETA GUY rICE WAS.
Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!
First two points, one, when did Rice Assault anyone ? Assault is a CRIME....Did you see Rice get charged with anything ? Also, I don't care if Rice woman was drunk, or he was, if it is true that SHE first started in on the hitting, it is SHE who was guilty of Assault son. What Rice did was SELF DEFENSE. Like it, Lump it I don't care. But women are NOT above the Law. Or are they above getting hit themselves IF they first are doing the hitting. Hell I know women right now who are in the 120-130Lb range that could beat the HELL out of each one of you here on this forum.
And the Jay Z reference does not apply. Cause in THAT case, Jay Z was NOT Drunk, and had the mental capasity to form the REQUISITE INTENT to NOT strike her back, but get a hold of her. In Ray Rice's case, he was Drunk, and was not thinking clearly...nor was she, and what he did was a REACTION to what she first did to him. Now, was it the right think morally to do ?...No. Was it going too far ?.....Yes. But, was it a CRIME ?.....No!
And as long as the video first showed Rice's girl as being the physical Instigator first. And as long as Ray has clearly shown himself as being sorry for what he did, as well as his now wife also says that she to was soryy for starting this, then I don't see why the uproar for the suspension being 2 games. I mean our own James Harrison was NOT Drunk. And had full use of his mental capasities...and yet he CLOCKED the Mother of his child...right in FRONT of the child. And was James ever punished by the league ?..or the Steelers ? Cause I sure as hell don't remember any. In fact, the Hypocrite that IS our owner...Rooney supported Harrison over the Incident. But yet, in a simular domestic abuse case with WR Cedric Wilson, Rooney order he be released. Can you all say...DOUBLE STANDARD ?!
I agree, Domestic violence towards women in Pro sports IS a huge problem. But, I feel to vent on Goodell about this decieion on Ray Rice is not a good example. I think calling him out for his past NOT getting Involved in past, and multiple violations of Domestic Abuse cases, like with Former Bronco and Current Bear WR Brandon Marshall, or Ex Cincy WR...and currently DEAD....Chris Henry. Those were the ones who got away with Murder on their girlfriends and spouces.
When did Harrison clock anyone? If I recall correctly, he broke a door down, and then smashed her cell phone. Not exactly civilized behavior, but he wasn't punching a woman out at least to my knowledge.