Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti is showing running back
Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence on Feb. 15 after an altercation with his fiancée at an Atlantic City casino.
It was certainly out of character for Rice, and while Bisciotti isn’t happy to see it, he’s going to support his player based on his track record.
“I don’t know of any other player that’s ever generated as much goodwill in our building and in our community as Ray in those six years,” Bisciotti said Monday at the NFL owners meetings.
“If Ray was the kind of guy that was susceptible to trouble, then I could sit here and say that this is terribly disappointing to me. I think it’s selfish for me to inject my own opinion about that, although I am the owner. I know how terribly disappointing it is to Ray and his fiancée, how embarrassing it is for them. I have to have compassion towards him.”
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome have said they plan on having Rice as part of the team next season.
While there is reportedly more video of the incident, Bisciotti echoed their sentiments.
“He’ll be back with the team. He’ll definitely be back,” Bisciotti said.
Bisciotti said he’s talked to Rice a couple of times about the incident and that they can’t change what happened in the past. But Bisciotti is more concerned with what happens in the future.
“I’ve been on record of saying my definition of character is repeating offenses,” Bisciotti said. “If we’re all one strike and you’re out, then we’re all in trouble. It’s how you respond to adversity.
“Ray has not experienced any [adversity]. He’s just been lauded as the nicest, hardest working, greatest guy on the team and in the community. So we have to support him. I think we’ll be rewarded by him maturing and never putting himself in a situation like that again.”
Bisciotti feels that other players on the team can learn from the mistakes Rice has made.
Rice hasn’t been the only Ravens player arrested this offseason. Three were arrested in a 22-day span, including wide receiver
Bisciotti said he’s always concerned about the image of the team, but is waiting for all the legal action to play out before passing harsh judgment.
“They are a smudge on the organization,” Bisciotti said of the arrests.
“I don’t know if they were spread out, whether that would make it better or not. We just kind of have to roll with this, it kind of comes with the territory.
“But these guys have to realize that they’re not kids, they’re grown men. You’ve got to find your balance in life to make sure you don’t put yourself in these kind of situations; whether it’s hanging out with the wrong people or being in the wrong places or drinking too much in public, which I think contributed to one if not maybe all three of those issues.”