John Harbaugh: I’m proud of Ray Rice for how he’s handled it

AP

The Ravens are continuing their public support of Ray Rice, the running back whose two-game suspension for a domestic violence incident has been widely criticized.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said today that he continues to support Rice and believes that Rice is making the most of a bad situation.

“I love the way he’s handled it,” Harbaugh said. “I hate what happened. What happened was wrong, flat out. The thing I appreciate about it is how Ray has handled it afterwards by acknowledging that it was wrong and he’ll do everything he can do to make it right. That’s what you ask for when someone does a wrong thing. So I’m proud of him for that, from that standpoint. And for anybody out there who’s going to misconstrue that and just write, ‘John Harbaugh is proud of Ray,’ then shame on you. I’m proud of him for the way he’s handled it, OK? Disappointed in what happened, but you go forward. You know, you go forward. That’s what we’re going to do as a football team, and that’s what we’re going to do as an individual, he’ll do as an individual.”

Although Harbaugh was careful to explain that he means he is proud of the way Rice has responded since his February arrest, and not that he condones what Rice did to result in the arrest, that distinction may not change the fact that some people simply don’t want to hear the Ravens continuing to support Rice publicly. The Ravens’ full-throated support of Rice has — like the NFL’s two-game suspension — struck many as insensitive to victims of domestic violence.

Harbaugh declined to talk about the backlash to the suspension, which has been widely decried as an indication that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t grasp the seriousness of domestic violence.

“There’s no way I’m going to comment on the length of it, but I know this: Those that make those decisions do so with great seriousness. They aim to be just and fair and they aim to do right by all parties involved,” Harbaugh said.

But Harbaugh did say that he thinks opening the season without Rice will be tough for his team to overcome.

“It’s going to be tough for us,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be two games without one of our very best players. But we’ll move forward and deal with it. Beyond that, there’s really nothing else to say.”

Harbaugh may have nothing left to say, but Rice is expected to address the media on Thursday. His comments will surely be scrutinized by those who believe Rice has yet to show genuine remorse — and who believe both the Ravens and the NFL have been far too supportive of Rice.

83 responses to “John Harbaugh: I’m proud of Ray Rice for how he’s handled it

  1. It’s like you want the Ravens to NOT EVER forgive him and hold it against him forever. If all of us had one of our worst moments held against forever, we wouldn’t be able to ever move forward in life. Let the Ravens & Ray Rice move forward already.

  2. What other occupation would you be suspended above and beyond the penalty assessed by the law ?

  3. Proper statement by a good coach. His job is to prepare his team, not to appease you. Good coaches work hard to make sure that their players feel supported. Sorry if it does not fit into your little circus, but glad to know that the coach is in the right frame of mind to prepare his team for the season.

  4. This happened in February. The Ravens dealt with it in February. It’s football season.

  5. nah I can’t let this go dude is a coward and should be made an example by the fans because he seems to be skating on the fact he KO’d his wife the ravens held a presser where she apologized (for what your the victim) and Good ole Goddell who only gave him 2 when Haynesworth got 5 for stomping andre gurode

  6. I don’t think anyone is expecting the Ravens to suspend him additional games (they can’t legally per the CBA) or completely disconnect him from the team. It’s more the way their support was delivered by the organization during interviews and press conferences. When you add in the minimal suspension, there is nothing the Raven’s can say at that point to soothe the situation. Time is the only healer that remains and that will take quite a while.

  7. Wow! If he thinks that Rice handled the aftermath well I think he could choose a different word than “proud of Rice”. Big question is if there wasn’t a video how “well” would Rice have handled things?!

  8. Harbaugh and the Ravens need to stop taking because they are clearly losing the battle.

    Guy got off easy, how did you think he would handle it?

  9. if any of your teams have a problem with what i said, see you in stadiums this fall

    #WERUNTHISLEAGUE

  10. Yes, he’s carried himself well

    He’s elevated the team

    He’s given us a view of himself

  11. Quietly supporting your player is one thing. Publicly praising him shows a lack of awareness. Standing ovations show complete ignorance.

  12. This whole affair has been a PR disaster for the NFL. Goodell will continue to lay low hoping the public will forget and I would be surprised if he addresses this issue at the presser in Canton this weekend. He thinks once September rolls around and the games begin this will all go away. I hate to admit but I think he will be correct.

  13. If it had been a 6-game suspension, or even 4, this news story would have been news for 2 days at most. One thing that has kept it in the news is that the penalty was just too light for the offense. I agree that what he did was very wrong. Deserving of more of a punishment so that justice would have been rendered.

  14. Must be nice to get a slap on the wrists for knocking his wife out cold and dragging her limp body out the door. Goodell is a coward

  15. Even if it was my OWN SON. I would never use the word “proud” when speaking of someone punching out a woman and knocking her cold. There is no excuse–does not even matter if she hit him, called him names, or wounded his tiny cowardly heart. It’s not “making a mistake”. It’s punching a woman in the head and knocking her cold.

  16. I can’t believe so many people are acting like he got a ticket for parking in a fire lane. He beat a woman he supposedly loved until she was unconscious. What is even more amazing is that this same woman actually married him after the fact! I find that hardest to believe. As for the Ravens, I’ve always disliked the team and now I hate them. Goodell shares blame, too. If this is the punishment that fits this crime, then the guidelines for the punishment need to be revised so that a player goes to jail for assault–like a mere non-football playing mortal should. Disgusting!!!!

  17. I used to think just the other brother is a bit out there with his obsessive personality. Now it is obvious both are standing at a stop where the buses don’t run.

  18. Goodell should be ashamed of himself. He claims 45% of the league’s fan base are women. They spend a month wearing pink to hype breast cancer awareness (despite it is a complete sham as the league makes a huge profit from the sales of the alternative attire while giving less than 10% of the contributions to the Komen foundation for whom they supposedly support through the effort), yet he allows a horrible human being to beat a woman unconscious and suspend him for a mere 2 games. What a joke this guy is.

  19. Are the Ravens just stupid? Whenever they open their mouths about this incident they sound like idiots. “I’m proud of this guy who knocked out his girlfriend.” It’s a bad situation and I think what he did was unpardonable. I think it’s equally unpardonable how the Ravens have bent over backwards to kiss Ray’s backside and act like he’s a saint. They’d probably be smart to just try to move on and stop showing support for a woman-beater.

  20. Someone needs to let “Little Ray” loose on momma Harbaugh. Slap the old broad around a bit after she “provokes” him. Don’t worry though, he’s a great guy.

  21. Honestly I think Goodell himself should be punished for sending such a weak message effectively tolerating the beating of women

    It doesn’t have to be a severe punishment – just fitting – maybe something like letting Rice beat Goodell unconscious – and then we call it all even

  22. Just lost a lot of respect for John Harbaugh. I thought he was the “normal” brother. They are both crazy.

  23. Amazing how quickly we all are to judge. Especially when all we have to go on is a small snip it of video, of the aftermath. Also interesting is how a lot of people take the information that Ray Rice hit his girlfriend in the head and rendered her unconscious, and turn it into he “beat her until she was unconscious”, as if he pounded on her over and over and over again. Not saying what he did was right. But have you ever seen a boxing, MMA, or street fight, where an opponent gets knocked out with one punch? No one, except the NFL, and the law has seen the rest of the footage, so no one knows what led up to the incident. It’s real easy to sit from afar and lambast someone when you weren’t there, and you don’t know the circumstances. Again, not saying what he did was right, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t know what led up to the small section of video that we saw. The hit that knocked her out, could have been purely defensive and an unintentional knockout. But then again, that doesn’t matter right? As soon as the mob crowd makes up their mind that an individual is guilty, nothing else matters.

  24. What head coach meant was that after knocking his love out, he really dragged her, gently, preventing more scaring. Then married her ===Harbung would see only good a guy like this. This is outstanding behavior for a raven-he could be a captain on that team!

  25. Use the information the police, league and ravens are going by to make a decision. Oh wait, that information has not been made public. Just like the Duke lacrosse case, convicting people based on half truths.

    Ray Rice is protecting his wife’s reputation by taking all of the heat. He doesn’t owe anyone an apology. He and his wife are taking care of their personal life and their private life issues,which nobody else has access in a public forum.

  26. What he did was despicable. But… Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. I have to admit, I have to drop mine, but Goodell shouldn’t have dropped his.

  27. He loves the way Rice handled himself after committing domestic abuse. What a dumb thing to say, John.

    Want your team to get into the endzone? Call it a “courtroom” during practice.

  28. Harbaugh is a clueless idiot who is too stupid to realize he is enabling batterers everywhere

  29. This Ravens organization has should change their uniforms to black and white stripes.. Fits their ever growing jailbird image and ex con attitude.

  30. Only a 2 game suspension for knocking out your wife?
    I dunno. Is it just me that wearing the wrong shoes comes across as being a more serious infraction in the Badoll run NFL?

  31. Unintentionally knock another player onto his rear. A fine.
    Intentionally knock out your woman. No fine and a slap on the wrist.
    Not enough justice for the latter and too much for the former in comparison.

  32. Hitting and knocking out a loved one is not anything that anyone can just “move forward” on.
    This is way too serious to just do that.
    Once a woman beater, always a woman beater.
    He cannot erase that part of his past even if he volunteers at a woman’s battered shelter.

  33. How long would you spend in jail for knocking out a stranger in an elevator? Why isn’t Rice locked up?
    Goodell needs to go, and if Komen doesn’t have a problem with him and this slap on the wrist it just proves that they are nothing but money grubbers.

  34. Harbaugh and the Ravens enable all of this sort of stuff, welcome (and praise) the contrition and all that rubbish. How about setting the bar a bit higher for the players, the team, the league and the young people that follow the game – if rice is a marginal player he is long ago jettisoned. Bottom line don’t punch women in the face unless you want to face ‘the wrath’ of a suspension for 12.5% of the regular season.

  35. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m sick of hearing about this nonsense. He got two games. Blame Goodell for that not the Ravens. Get over it.

  36. Where is that model franchise now? Where is the “in Ozzie we trust” now? Never was a model and Ozzie supports an abuser.hopefully the foot in mouth epidemic can be treated in Baltimore, but it must be in the water.

  37. I like how Harbaugh handled the question. Everyone screws up. Not everyone beats their wife, but everyone screws up. Everyone, at one point in their lives (if they’re truly honest with themselves), has done something that someone else thinks is simply unforgivable or detestable. It’s easy to cast out your opinion when someone else does something wrong. But take a step back and see what you’ve done in your own life. I’m sure when those screw ups occurred, you were happy to have someone else’s support. You were probably embarrassed, angry with yourself. Harbaugh and the Ravens aren’t supporting a monster. They’re supporting a friend who needs support during a tough time in his life. Shame on anyone that can’t understand that. Quit being hypocritical, because I guarantee you that you’ve been there too.

  38. HYPOCRITES! so none of you have ever made a regrettable mistake right? you just arent a public figure with cameras catching your every move. if Mrs. Rice forgave him, who in the hell are we to judge?

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