Ravens abandoned Rice when he needed help [Letter]

September 12, 2014

I read Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti's letter to Ravens fans in which he outlined the organization's reasons for its actions to terminate Ray Rice's contract ("Steve Bisciotti writes that Ravens should have done more to investigate Ray Rice video," Sept. 10).

He wrote, "We view ourselves as a family. Like families, we have used tough love in the past against repeat offenders." Additionally, he indicated that Mr. Rice had previously been viewed as a model citizen and "Ray and Janay both told us nothing like this had happened before. He was showing great remorse; they were meeting regularly with our team chaplain and were diligently attending couples counseling."

Yet, after a video which should never have been made public was published, he and his organization basically held a modern day Salem witch trial and shunned this family member who was taking all positive steps to correct his horrific behavior. This family member who was taking responsibility for his actions, both publicly and privately, and was seeking the help he so desperately needs. Will shaming him make the situation better?

Further, the NFL and the Ravens, as employers, have decided to create rules about how players who abuse their wives or partners will be disciplined. Let me ask you this: How many wives who may be abused do you think will come forward to get the help they and their families need if their source of income will be taken away? If they will be publicly humiliated and shamed? What the Ravens and the NFL have done by treating Ray and Janay Rice in this manner has made the situation worse, not only for them, but for all those who may have their own problems.

What happened to compassion? Employers offering counseling? Are abusers the lepers of the 21st century, to be cast aside? Ray and Janay Rice needed support, not condescension and criticism.

A rush to judgment is easy; standing up for a family member undergoing a difficult time is the hard thing. I'm disappointed beyond measure in Mr. Bisciotti's choice.

Debby Greenman-Rippey, Ellicott City

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