Ray Rice allegedly did a deplorable thing. It was a one-time mistake, however, and he’s therefore a totally OK guy, according to his boss.
The Baltimore Ravens running back was suspended two games by the NFL on Thursday for his role in an incident with his then-fiancee back in February. Rice allegedly knocked out his now-wife at an Atlantic City casino and could be seen on surveillance tape dragging her out of an elevator.
Rice was charged with aggravated assault and has been undergoing counseling in order to get the charges removed from his record.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh went to bat for the former Rutgers running back on Thursday with a pretty passionate defense of Rice as a person.
“There are consequences when you make a mistake like that,” Harbaugh said, according to ESPN.com. “I stand behind Ray. He’s a heck of a guy.
“He’s done everything right since (the incident). He makes a mistake, alright? He’s going to have to pay a consequence.”
Many felt that consequence was relatively minor given the four-game suspensions players received for failed drug tests. Regardless, Rice seemed willing to deal with the league’s decision.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways.
“But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”