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All the support the Baltimore Ravens gave Ray Rice this offseason as he dealt with his domestic violence incident evaporated after TMZ released video of the running back knocking out his wife.
The team cut him on Monday afternoon.
Just over 20 minutes later, the NFL responded as well:
That’s how powerful the video of the incident is. There was no way the Ravens could keep Rice around any longer.
WARNING: The video below is disturbing and features an act of domestic violence
Just a few months ago, members of the Ravens roster and front office were singing a different tune:
Haloti Ngata, defensive tackle, according to the Ravens website: “He’s a great guy.Always been a great guy. Jokes around, has fun. He’s the same guy.”
Ozzie Newsome, Ravens general manager: “We respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect.
John Harbaugh, head coach, in March: “He will be part of our team. He’s a person of character. The thing that’s really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action. He makes a mistake. There’s no justifying what happened. When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen.”
Those are supportive comments from three different levels of the organization, and they’re just a sampling. The Ravens went out of their way to support Rice this offseason, even after he was suspended two games by the NFL.
Maybe public pressure on Monday got to the team. The outrage over Rice was fierce on Monday after the video was released by TMZ. Maybe the Ravens didn’t realize how ugly the incident was, although that’s dubious considering everyone knew for many months that Rice knocked out his then-fiancee, and it’s tough to think the team didn’t realize that a NFL running back knocking out a woman was a disgusting act before seeing the video of it.
Whatever the reason for the 180-degree turn in support, the Ravens gave up on Rice on Monday. It’s hard to imagine, after the video came out and current and former NFL players strongly spoke out against Rice, that any other team would welcome him in its locker room.