Family turns Ray Rice jersey into 'be nice' message

  • Brynn Bartlett, age 6, of Ellicott City, sports a redesigned Ray Rice jersey, courtesy of her parents, Bryan and Angie.
Brynn Bartlett, age 6, of Ellicott City, sports a redesigned… (Courtesy of Bryan Bartlett…)
September 09, 2014|By Kristine Henry
The Baltimore Sun

People have different ideas about what to do with their Ray Rice jerseys in light of that horrific elevator video. (Were we all sort of hoping it was more accidental than deliberate and that's why actually seeing it is so much more powerful than just hearing about it?)

But I love what this father did with his daughter's jersey, transforming Rice into "Be Nice … To girls."

"We were just trying to decide what to do with our kids' Ray Rice jerseys as we really didn't feel we wanted them to wear them anymore. Everyone we saw online was cutting them up or things like that. We tried to come up with something a bit more positive and fun," said Bryan Bartlett of Ellicott City, father of Brynn, 6, and Bryson, 9.

"It is a tough conversation to have with your children. We explained why you should never been mean to anyone and certainly never hit or hurt anyone. Explained to them that while if they do it now they may end up in timeout or lose a privilege when they are older the consequences are much more severe and you could lose everything. They agreed that you should never hit anyone, 'especially a girl' my son said, and that Ray Rice should not be a Raven anymore."

Sounds like the Bartlett kids have good heads on their shoulders and some good role models.

I have to give props to my 11-year-old son, too. I hadn't talked to him a whole lot about the incident until a couple of weeks ago. When he heard details about what happened, he nonchalantly said he'd never wear his Rice jersey again. And he assumed that Janay Palmer had immediately broken up with Rice. No, she's actually Janay Rice now. (But he can't play for the Ravens anymore, right?) No, he's actually only suspended for two games. The boy was incredulous.

And I'm really hoping my 9-year-old daughter is getting the message that this kind of thing is never OK, no matter how nice the person seems or how rich he might be. She says she understands, but she also told me she'd cleaned her room, and let's just say sometimes words and reality don't match.

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