Ray Rice is doing what it takes to make sure he never hits his wife again, but is that enough to satisfy the court of public opinion?
“There’s many nights that my wife and I sleep together, and we still have to deal with this,” Ray said during a press conference earlier today. “Her pain is my pain.”
According to CNN.com, a seemingly remorseful Ray stated that he and his wife, Janay, are currently in marital counseling to get past their domestic incident. He then cleared her of any blame in the matter. “One thing I wanted to do today is apologize to my wife,” said the NFL star. “I’m here to tell you today that I made the biggest mistake of my life. Me. She can do no wrong. She’s an angel.”
Ray told reporters that “when the time is right” both he and his wife plan to seek out opportunities to help people affected by domestic violence because it is simply “inexcusable.” He didn’t indicate when that time might be, but he insisted that he knows there is no excuse for hitting your partner.
“It just not right. It’s not right. It shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Ray. “That’s something I stand by, and I have to pay for that.”
He continued, pleading,”You know that’s not me.”
Except it is. No matter how much Ray argues that he’s typically not the type to hit a woman, there will always be brutal video evidence to prove that he is–or at least that he was at one point. It’s true that anyone can black out. Anyone can make a mistake. Still, there’s no way for the public to know for certain that this is the only time he’s ever hit his wife.
Since video of him knocking her out and dragging her into an Atlantic City hotel elevator surfaced, it’s widely been speculated that their relationship has a history of domestic violence. The assumptions have really rubbed people the wrong way.
The NFL hasn’t taken the offense very seriously, leveling a punishment at Ray that amounts to a slap on the wrist. As far as that organization is concerned, all will be forgiven after he sits out two games and pays a fine. To the public, however, he’ll probably always be an abusive pro-athlete that personifies the worst of how fame and money change people.
On some level, I think the public is more likely to believe negative things about anyone in the spotlight. When a star gives them valid reason to go in, they will. And it probably doesn’t help that the NFL is letting him off easy! Make no mistake, Ray was handled with kids gloves.
Michael Vick was hated for years behind his dog fighting ring scandal. Despite the fact that he went to prison to pay his debt to society, and even spoken out against animal cruelty since then, Michael’s reputation is still tarnished to this day.
Sure, he’s back on the gridiron, but it’s unlikely that his career will ever be as big as it could have been had he not been caught.
Outside of the sports arena, Chris Brown went through a situation very similar to Ray’s. He was R&B’s golden boy until he beat Rihanna to pulp before the 2009 Grammys. Fans and the music industry immediately shunned him. Five years later, he’s still getting dragged over the fight with Rihanna. To be fair, this has a lot to do with all of his shenanigans since that incident. There’s not enough talent in the world to make anyone forget reports of his temper tantrums.
As much as I would like to believe that Ray’s apology is sincere, nothing but time will prove if he’s actually sorry about what he did. Even then, some people may never forgive him.