Team president Dick Cass said he hopes Rice is judged on his full body of work, rather than the alleged knocking unconscious of his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino.
“You have to look at Ray’s whole life, and what he’s meant to this community, and how much work he’s done in the community,” Cass said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “When you look and you list everything he’s done, he’s made a major commitment here. This is not just a guy who talks about community. He does it. He’s out in the community all the time. He’s had a positive impact in Baltimore and also in his hometown. I think Ray has done so much.
“I’m hoping that when people look at Ray as a person, they will not judge him by this one incident. I always like to say, we have the advantage of knowing Ray. We’ve been with him and known him so well for six years. I think we know what kind of person he is, and I don’t think this incident represents the type of person that he is, and I’m hoping our fans will give him a chance. And I think they will.”
Cass said that he expects Rice to talk about the incident to the media soon, and of course, there’s the matter of potential league discipline.
The NFL can and has suspended players without convictions before, though quarterback Joe Flacco said this week he expected Rice to be available for all 16 games.