USA Today- If Ray Rice gets a chance to return to the NFL this season, every game check he earns would go towards combating the issue that took him out of the league.
“All the scrutiny that I’ve got, it was deserved, because domestic violence is a horrible thing,” said Rice, the three-time Pro Bowl running back banished by the NFL (but later reinstated on appeal) amid outrage over the video recorded nearly 2 ½ years ago.
“Me donating my salary is something that’ll be from the heart for me. I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me. But I know there’s a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It’s raising awareness.
“People need homes. People need shelter when they’re in a crucial situation. I’ve donated a lot of money to charities, but I had a situation where it was a national crisis. I’m not saying I’d be (donating the salary) to get on the field, but it’s something that will show where my heart is. My heart is about finishing the right way and helping people along the way.”
See, I was hoping it would never come to this. I was hoping that Ray Rice - a player I used to cheer on every Saturday and eventually every Sunday - would just let this football career go quietly into the night. That's not because I thought someone who was clearly made an example of by the NFL (and deservingly so) didn't deserved a second chance. It's because I didn't want him to learn the harsh reality of why he wasn't getting that second chance.
The sad irony is that as time has passed and teams have inevitably warmed to the concept of signing a one time domestic abuser, their feet have grown increasingly colder to the idea of signing a running back that's nearing 30 and hasn't played a meaningful down of football in two years. Though it is commendable, Ray Rice offering the entirety of a hypothetical contract to the victims of domestic violence is a fruitless gesture. His absence on an NFL roster is no longer about the appalling video of him knocking his then fiancee out cold in elevator. It certainly doesn't help, but teams that are worth billions of dollars and will do ANYTHING (See: Greg Hardy) to win aren't afraid of associating themselves with someone that laid their hands on a female. They aren't afraid of employing someone who might be of questionable character. They are afraid of paying someone that's not capable of reciprocating that value on the field - no matter who the money is going towards.
I don't think Ray Rice is as bad of a guy as the one that drunkenly struck a woman in shockingly violent fashion, but I also don't think he's as versatile of a threat out of the backfield as he was at that time either. Apparently the people he's trying to satisfy agree or he wouldn't have to offer to pay to play.