"Love you then they hate you then they love you again, hate you then they love you then they hate you again"
"Love Hate thing" is always a favorite of mine. Since we usually don't speak on off-the-field matters, LHT is our way of giving both sides of the controversy, something the media does not do. This time we'll be looking at Ravens' star running back, Ray Rice, and his unfortunate situation.
Ray Rice has always been a stand-up citizen since he joined the Ravens in 2008. He has been very prominent in the Baltimore community, whether it be volunteering or doing commercials for the local car dealerships. He is most notable for being a strong advocate for ant-bullying and leader of a campaign in Maryland to stop bullying.
As far as his images goes, I think the worst thing that could have happen to Ray Rice is he had a bad season prior to his altercation with his now wife. Ray Rice numbers dropped drastically, having career lows in yards per carry (3.1) and yards per catch (5.5). He only gained 971 total yards, which is his lowest since his rookie year. Prior to last season, Ray Rice was considered as one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL, only Chris Johnson, Lesean McCoy, and Adrian Peterson with more total yards than him. People in Baltimore never second guessed Ray Rice abilities, until last season. After the 2013 season was over, there was a good 60-40 split of Ray Rice supporters and doubters. Then in February, that split margin became smaller.
February 15th, Ray Rice and his wife were arrested on assault charges after their domestic dispute at an Atlantic City hotel. Videos would later surface of Ray Rice dragging his wife's unconscious body out of an elevator, which didn't look good at all. Days later, New Jersey police said they had a video evidence of Rice "knocking her out", fortunately, that video never was seen by the public. Rice was never convicted of any crimes, but in the public eye, he was seen as a "women beater". Hitting on women should never be accepted so it's not a surprise that people were upset. Then came the punishment.
Ray Rice will only miss two games and will pay $529,000 fine, which really upset the public once again. Some wanted and expected Rice to at least receive a 4-game suspension but the big bad wolf, Rodger Goodell, didn't hit Rice hard. People were mainly mad because the suspension insinuates that hitting on women is more acceptable that smoking a joint. Players that commit weed related offenses automatically receive a 4-game suspension. And if they are repeat offenders, the banishment becomes longer and sometimes indefinite.
This is just Goodell, once again, being inconsistent with his punishments. I personally expected Rice to receive 4-games just because everything else gets you a 4-game suspension. If you are suspending Rice for hitting on his wife, then this without question insinuates hitting on women is accepted. And once again, this is another player that is being suspended without actually being convicted of a crime. And it's funny how people are in an uproar about Rice small punishment, when nothing was said when Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape TWICE, and nothing happened. I'm not saying Ben raped anyone, and like Rice, he wasn't convicted of any charges, but if you're going to suspend Rice and everyone for being in bad situations, then Big Ben accusations definitely warranted some kind of suspension.
*Thanks to a commenter, I was reminded Big Ben was suspended for 4-games.*
Regardless of the situation, I am still a Ray Rice fan and supporter. Like I said in the beginning, Rice is prominent in our city, so one incident will not change my view of him. This is a bad situations that happened between him and his significant other, which really isn't our business. We all have been in those situations, so don't be so quick to judge. In Peter King's MMQB article about Ray Rice's punishment and fall out, according to sources, Rice's wife asked Goodell to be lenient with the punishments and that could have been the most deciding factor. I expect Raymond to comeback hard this season, on and off the field. I'm putting my pick for 'Comeback Player of the Year" early.