Ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice did something that I was taught as a child to never do. Hit a woman. On February 15th 2014 Ray Rice was arrested at Revel Casino after a physical altercation between himself and Janay Palmer (his then fiancé; now wife). They were engaged in an argument that obviously got very heated. The altercation proceeded to an elevator that eventually led to Ray Rice not only hit her, but his punch to the face was so hard that it knocked her out cold for a few minutes. Evidence of the incident is shown in two very telling videos that have leaked over the internet and media outlets.
As Rice pulled Palmer out of the elevator, a first responder ran up to him yelling, “Get away from her.” Palmer was still unconscious at that point.
According to the staffers, Rice then tried to explain that Palmer was drunk.
“The first thing he said is, ‘She’s intoxicated. She drank too much. I’m just trying to get her to the room,'” one of the staffers said.
When Palmer came to, she seemed stunned at what Rice had done.
“When she regained consciousness she said, ‘How could you do this to me? I’m the mother of your kid,'” one of the staffers said.
She didn’t press charges and the two did get married. However, the second video that leaked set off a firestorm that led to Rice getting cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
My first reaction when hearing about this was shock. Who could hit a women!?! Yes he should be cut and good for the NFL. People, especially women, should ALL be outraged. But that is not entirely the case. There are a lot of people who share my thoughts but there are just as many who think he should be left alone and able to play.
“Although I do not support Ray Rice’s actions, I do support him as a person,” Taylor Whitacre, 23, of Winchester, Virginia, told ABC News today. “You can’t allow one person’s mistake to define the person they are or the potential they have. If we didn’t support people even when we don’t always care for some of their decisions, a lot of us wouldn’t have friends.”
There is also this take from another fan.
“There’s two sides to every story,” said Racquel Bailey, a 23-year-old waitress in Baltimore. “I saw the video. That’s their personal business, and it shouldn’t have affected his career. I don’t agree with domestic violence, but she’s still with him, so obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it.”
Just drop it, and it shouldn’t have affected his CARREER?!?
There are a lot of things that can be focused on here that led to a not perfect situation, and I think we can agree that the further we get from what God has planned the more chances we have for things to go wrong.
For Ray Rice he had a child out of wedlock, but he wanted to do the right thing and marry the mother of his child. I think we can agree that this is not God’s design, but if there is repentance and a change in character then God has room to forgive. Look at King David and Bathsheba. Horrible decision after horrible decision between the relationship with a married woman, to trying to deceive the husband, and ultimately having the husband killed! God forgave David, but that is because there was repentance. As a result Solomon was born.
As for how Rice treated his to be wife. It is not in alignment with God’s plan. In James 1:19 God calls us to be, “Quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry…” As far as how he should treat his wife it is written in Ephesians 5:28 “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Oh, I know some of you just thought to yourselves, “But they weren’t married, so that doesn’t count…” Really! Ok, then how about Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” If he followed these instructions from God, he’s be playing today.
The bottom line is that there were some horrible actions that took place. And even though as Christians we need to forgive, there can still be consequences to those actions. Am I able to throw the first stone because I am without sin? Absolutely not. If I mess up can there be consequences? Absolutely! And that goes for anyone regardless of status. At the end of the day, I pray that their family grows from this and God blesses them. Whatever God’s will is, it will be done. God has already used this for His glory to raise awareness and hopefully show that treating a woman in that way has no place in His plan.