The Baltimore Ravens may have terminated running back Ray Rice’s contract, but his fans’ devotion still remains.
During the Pittsburgh Steelers versus Ravens game on Thursday night, fans came out in droves, supporting Rice by wearing his number 27 jersey to the stadium. That group of fans included women, who, despite watching Rice punch his then-fiancée Janay Palmer unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator, don’t agree with the NFL’s decision to suspend him indefinitely.
From The Bleacher Report:
“I’m keeping my jersey,” one woman told Laken Litman of For the Win. “I’m not going to trade it in.”
Another female fan had this to say about Rice, according to Litman:
I absolutely 100% support him. I do. It had nothing to do with his job. He should not have lost his job.
I’m supporting him all the way around. I think he’s an awesome guy, I think he’s an upstanding guy, and I think he’s an awesome football player.
“I still support Ray Rice,” another woman told ESPN.com’s Scott Brown. “I just don’t believe one action or mistake should define a person.”
But not everyone was so laissez-faire about the rampant domestic violence incidents coming from the league and plaguing homes around the nation.
CBS Sports’ James Brown kicked off Thursday Night Football with a powerful message regarding violence against women:
You can watch his delivery below:
Earlier in the day, CBS took another stand against domestic violence by pulling a Thursday Night Football theme song performed by Rihanna from the program.
If you recall, Rihanna was involved in a public domestic dispute in February 2009 with then-boyfriend Chris Brown.
“It’s important to realize we are not overacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI.com. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
Read about the changes to programming here.