Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ray Rice Deserves To Be Cut From Ravens - BUT ...He's Not A Total Bum!

Yes, we now know two things: 1) Former Baltimore Ravens' RB Ray Rice did punch his fiancé in an elevator and 2) that video has now been disseminated (originally from ESPN Sports Center) far and wide. I watched it last night at wifey's behest (she's a Ravens' fan) and it was enough to make me gag then barf. The video, for those interested, is readily available but the images are graphic including as Rice drags the poor woman out of the elevator like a large rag puppet or manikin.

The buzz right now, after wifey watched some 14 web interviews last night, is that the Ravens' brain trust knew all about this deplorable behavior from the instant it happened - or nearly so - and even knew this damning video existed. Ravens' coach John Harbaugh evidently wanted to ditch Rice then and there, but Ozzie Newsome (Ravens' Personnel Manager)  prevailed on him not to do so, and to let events play out and hope Rice and the team didn't get slapped too hard by penalties. Well, thanks to only one short video of Rice pulling his gf from the elevator, the Newsome dictate prevailed and Rice escaped with only a 2-game suspension and fine. This despite the fact that a number of other players were facing much harsher 4 and 6 game suspensions for drug, alcohol use.

Thus a backlash of sorts was precipitated, especially driven by women's groups outraged that such a savage attack on a woman would merit only a paltry slap on the wrist by NFL chief Roger Goodell. But that's what happened. Rice received a mild punishment and the Ravens- who'd invested $35 million in him back in 2012- had expected big things this year.

Then this new video of Rice actually punching his fiancée was released at around 4.30 a.m. yesterday and all hell broke lose with everyone (even Seth Rogen) now bashing Ray Rice as a genuine POS,  bipedal maggot, and degenerate ......with a revile reaction somewhere between that for ISIS and Ebola.

But hold strain! I will argue here that Rice's character can't be judged in an absolute fashion based on one single, deplorable incident. And the people who do so are totally unaware of how the man came forward two years ago, to support a devastated family from Columbia, Maryland, after their daughter Grace killed herself on Easter Sunday, 2012 after being relentlessly cyber-bullied

Grace McComas took her own life after she was the target of repeated bullying that began online.
Grace McComas - killed herself after being cyber- bullied

Grace was troubled by the words and actions of an older classmate who lived in her Columbia neighborhood and often walked home with her from the bus stop. Grace expressed her concerns to her mother, who in turn – with Grace’s approval – relayed the information to the parents of her classmate. Soon after, the classmate took to Twitter to publicize his anger. Grace was a snitch, and he wanted the world to know:

… Next time my name rolls off your tongue, choke on it.. and DIE …
… i hope you somehow see this and cry yourself to sleep then kill yourself …
Initially, Grace's mom told her daughter to just ignore the electronic vitriol. She advised her to let his frustration run its course. But the endless tweets begat real-world gossip at school, and the typed attacks only intensified. According to her mom,  Grace stopped being Grace. She said:

“It took its toll, it damaged her. She kept her humor. She got anxious, she couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t eat. She got to the point where she wouldn’t go outside"

After a brief investigation was completed and not even the Howard County School system would accept responsibility for this tragedy and the parents stood bereft and abandoned - there was Ray Rice who stepped up and started an anti-bullying incentive and a fund on Grace's behalf. He also gave numerous speeches in reference to this idealistic teen who was driven to such despair to take her own life by hanging.

So, if you need to pile onto Rice for his recent actions then by all means do it - and make no mistake he deserves it, especially being cut by the team.  But do not think that this single incident permanently defines him as an evil brute or a savage in perpetuity - or with finality.

And if you're tempted to do so, think back on Grace McComas and her family!

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