NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has remained mostly mum on the issues facing his league, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson has spoken out against former Huguenot standout Ray Rice, saying that his altruistic past in the city cannot excuse his actions in Atlantic City.
Rice, a New Rochelle native who starred on the football team, has been at the center of a national media firestorm for several weeks after TMZ released a video of him striking his wife during an altercation that resulted in her unconscious body having to be dragged out of an elevator.
In a statement, Bramson said that despite Rice’s positive work in the community since signing with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008, those actions do not excuse the actions he took against Mount Vernon native Janay Palmer.
“Past good works cannot mitigate or excuse something as serious as domestic violence, and any actions or statements that suggest otherwise send a message that is both wrong and dangerous,” he said.
Since the videos were released, Rice – who was initially suspended a paltry two games – was released from his contract and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Former sponsor Nike dropped him, and he was removed from EA Sports’ Madden NFL 15 video game. Additionally, the Ravens have enlisted a jersey-exchange program at M&T Bank Park in Baltimore.
Bramson said that if Rice is to regain the trust of the people and his hometown, it is going to be a long and arduous process.
“For Ray, redemption can only be earned through a long and difficult process of understanding domestic violence, working with advocates in the field, coming to grips with what he has done and demonstrating over time that it is possible to change,” he continued.
Despite the heinous acts Rice committed, Bramson said that if Rice is willing to put in the time and effort to educate himself and others about the issues of domestic abuse, New Rochelle will support him.
“That is the process that deserves the support of those in New Rochelle who have known Ray and admired his contributions,” he concluded. “If Ray chooses to walk this road, then many in our community will be there to walk with him.”
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