Bisciotti was right to drop Rice [Letter]

September 18, 2014

In response to Scott Green's letter, "The Ravens got it wrong" (Sept. 13), it seems unfair to criticize Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti for not supporting Ray and Janay Rice after the violent video came to light. Mr. Bisciotti is considered an influential business leader in the community. His decision was forced by his viewing of and by public release of the violent video. One can argue that the Ravens could and should have done more to obtain the tape sooner, but that doesn't change the fact that Ray Rice and only Ray Rice threw that violent punch. Mr. Bisciotti spoke clearly and with great sincerity during his recent messages to the fans and to the community and thus can be lauded for demonstrating respect to the community and to the fans that support his enterprise. It is not at all in the community's best interest to expect employers to save a privileged place for those that commit violent crimes. As an NFL team owner, Mr. Bisciotti provides generous medical, legal, public relations, coaching and behavioral support for his employees. It is unreasonable to expect the employer and team owner to provide unlimited advocacy for an employee who chooses not to provide timely full disclosure regarding an embarrassing violent criminal incident that comes to light.

Mr. Green can argue that Mr. Bisciotti should have weighed the negative impacts of cutting Ray Rice from the team upon Mr. Rice and his wife and family. Specific to being an NFL player, the player is a contributor to a team. Off the field tasks of NFL players include holding meet and greet sessions with the community and numerous school visits by team players. Partly because of those community responsibilities, team owners and all members of a team require team members to behave appropriately on and off the field. Being an NFL player is a position of privilege. If the player chooses to denigrate such an elite privilege, the consequences should be upon the player, not the employer.

Richard H. Schoen, Reisterstown

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