Ray Rice reinstated: What’s his value now?
NFL running back Ray Rice has been granted a second chance. At least, the hope for one, after winning his appeal of the indefinite suspension that threatened to sideline the Super Bowl winner for good. Ronn Torossian looks at the issue and where Rice’s PR value is at this precarious moment.
Rice is now eligible to sign with and play for any NFL team, but will he? Well, he got the first step in the dance right. Rice came out with a thank you to his judge in the case, the NFL Players Association, his attorney, family, friends, fans and — “most importantly” — his wife, Janay. His message indicated an appreciation for the proper process and a willingness to “continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others learn from my mistakes.”
That statement strikes a solid tone. Sorry and willing to move forward, but not demanding anyone just forget about it and move on. Rice is expressing a willingness to invest where he made his mistake. To become a better player, person and member of the community. Now is his opportunity to make good on that sentiment.
The spotlight can be very unforgiving, but there is nothing Americans love better than a good comeback story. Here we have a guy who got caught on video doing something stupid and foolish. Everyone admits that. Now he wants to make amends without trying to make light of the situation. Will there be some who think this is too little too late? Certainly, there will always be those for whom no penance will ever be enough. If Rice ends up back in an NFL jersey they will see it as a betrayal, no matter what price he pays.
Others are hoping for a triumphant return. They don’t want that one captured moment to be the end of his story. They want the Hollywood ending. The redemption. The Better Man narrative. Well, they just might get it. So far, Rice is headed in that direction.
Now, of course, comes the scrutiny. For now and for some time to come, everything this man does will be placed under a microscope and endlessly discussed. Any hope of privacy has been extinguished. It’s a tough cross to bear, but if he and Janay can manage the pressure without another similar incident, he has every opportunity to turn his words into action. In this case, we are pulling for that to happen … even in the home of the New York Football Giants.