DeMaurice Smith suggests Ray Rice is being blackballed

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NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith thinks it doesn’t speak well for the NFL that no team is willing to give Ray Rice another chance.

Smith told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that Rice, who is not suspended and is eligible to play as soon as a team signs him, would be back in the NFL if teams were willing to give him a fair chance.

“This, unfortunately, is a league that has a history of blackballing players. I find it hard to believe that a player of Mr. Rice’s caliber hasn’t at least gotten one offer from a team to come work out,” Smith said.

The term “blackballing” suggests something underhanded, but the reality is that NFL teams aren’t hiding the fact that they simply don’t want to do business with the man who last year became the poster boy for domestic violence in America. That’s the prerogative of each team, and while the union is free to advocate on Rice’s behalf, there’s not much the union can do about it.

If all 32 NFL teams have decided that they’re never going to give Rice another chance, then Rice has only himself to blame for that.

117 responses to “DeMaurice Smith suggests Ray Rice is being blackballed

  1. Umm… guess what? He is! It is not a conspiracy, but no team wants the bad PR of signing the Poster Child of Wife Beating. Without Video… Maybe a team would give him a chance, but he is older and cost more and the Draft just brought a huge influx of young, cheap talent. He did a horrble thing and probably not just once, but sometimes in life, you simply do not get a second chance.

  2. There’s a difference between everyone collectively agreeing to not hire you and 32 teams individually deciding that they don’t want your wife-beating ass.

  3. His caliber was very underwhelming the last couple years of his playing career. He hit his fiancé harder than he could hit the running lanes.

  4. This is just another example of how ineffective DeMaurice Smith is. Anytime that he feels something isn’t going in a player’s favor, all that the NFLPA does is complain about it in the media or send a snarky letter to the NFL about it.

    They’ve constantly taken a short sighted view when they want something in the short term and negotiated away any true power to effect change, so now they act like a child and stomp their feet when they’re mad. People want to blame Goodell for everything that is happening in the NFL, but the reality is, the Commissioner’s office should never have been given so much oversight and power, and that has all happened thanks to the NFLPA.

  5. I can’t wait for someone to show up with the new word they learned in the last year or so and expecting it to apply here and how Rice deserves millions in damages.

    Hint: Coll****n

  6. As long as the 32 “teams” didn’t collude to not give him a chance there is little that the PA can do about it. Maybe Ted Wells’ fingerprints are on this somehow????

  7. Damn right. There is no excuse for that kind of violence. I understand chemical imbalances in the brain. I was in the military so I get being violent but….I THINK this is strictly ego from Mr. Rice.

  8. How is it blackballed if nobody wants to sign his woman beating @$$. Maybe it’s just that they don’t condone hitting women.

  9. I guess the concept of “pick your battles” fell by the wayside in the NFL today…

  10. Gee, a declining aging running back can’t find a NFL job……….oh and then there’s that elevator knockout punch of his fiancee……Chris Johnson can’t find a job either, may be it’s because he’s a declining aging running back too…or maybe it was because he got shot a couple of month’s ago in a vehicle where another person died…

  11. Ray MacDonald also doesnt understand why Ray Rice isnt given another chance

  12. In all honesty, why should any team give him a chance? He’s nearing 30 with a tremendous load on those tires dating back his college days.

    Why bring in a media circus and pay an old RB nearing 30, for a year or two, when you can throw a 22 year old rookie out there for a fraction of the cost?

    In years past, RR would have had his second chance. But, in the age of social media, you can’t make those mistakes on camera.

  13. He is being blackballed. Sad that the NFL operates this way and it will catch up to them in a big way eventually.

    Its already beginning to decline. There were so many empty seats around the league all year long.

    NFL owners will get whats coming to them, quicker than they think. They are crooked and have zero ethics.

    Paybacks are you know what, and the NFL will get theirs soon

  14. The Police Blotter page needs to be updated…it’s only been 1 day since someone in the NFL was arrested. Get it together slackers!

  15. Maybe he is being blackballed or maybe he isn’t, but Rice has no one to blame but himself. Do the crime, do the time.

  16. blackballed from a highly critiqued company for knocking a woman unconscious and then dragging her body out of an elevator like she was a nuisance? That’s ridiculous!

    Oh wait, the blackball makes sense, its the woman beating that’s ridiculous.

    Have fun in your next career Ray, try not to beat anymore women.

  17. He can thank himself 1st and then he can thank Ray McDonald for the icing on the blackball cake.

    -former Rice fan

  18. Teams owe him nothing. He has made millions. If he really wants to play football and show the league he can still play, there are plenty of startup minor leagues around the country that might take a chance with him on the roster, they might get paid $25- $100 a game.

  19. ravensbob says:
    May 28, 2015 6:26 PM
    Ray was terrible his last year in Baltimore.

    Yep. 2 straight years of rapid decline for a undersized, speed dependent high mileage running back followed by a year off *and* this kind of baggage?

    It was never, ever, ever realistic to think another team would bring him in. Why would they? He was already washed up before the baggage.

    NFL = Not. For. Long.

    AP, while older, was still a Pro Bowl-caliber player when his issue occurred, and his big back power game tends to age a little better historically. That is the difference.

  20. He is a 28 year RB who has been out of football for 17 months and during his last season of play he averaged apathetic 3.1 yards per carry.

    If he is not being signed, these are the primary reasons he is without a job. The potential negative PR that would come with his signing is just the cherry on top.

  21. At least Smith didn’t claim blackballing is illegal racial profiling.

    Rice will get signed eventually, once a few teams get hit by injuries and become more flexible.

  22. Yeah who wouldn’t be ALL OVER a guy whose last year put up a staggering 3.1 YPA stat line for a FULL year of playing.

    Oh and it isn’t like he doesn’t come with a mile long of baggage too.

  23. If this were coming from Rice’s agent, I’d say it’s just a bunch of sour grapes.

    But it’s coming from DeMaurice Smith, and he’s just a sourpuss.

  24. If ray rice was an averge perosn he would be in jail nfl is a joke nfl players treat it like its a right to play football well its not

  25. When a video surfaces of you 1-hit KOing your girlfriend/wife/fiancee, you are going to be blackballed because no team wants to take the negative publicity from it.

  26. Um, hello? You wet washed up before you knocked your fiancé out. Someone call the wahhmbulance.

  27. Hey! Wait a minute! I just realized something.

    I’m being blackballed too!

  28. Is De Smith the guy with the dumb hat and agreed to renew Goodell’s powers during the last CBA negotiations?

  29. NFL players, this is your leader? really? Holy crap! good luck with that.

  30. “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s go take on a domestic violence PR nightmare so we’ll have a running back that gets 3 yards a carry.”

    ~GM trying to be fired.

  31. And that therein is the problem, assuming or thinking a man like him even DESERVES another “chance”. I doubt he is “blackballed” , in as much as team’s don’t want to hire a man that beats woman.. simple really.

  32. wilmyers09 says:
    May 28, 2015 6:57 PM
    If ray rice was an averge perosn he would be in jail nfl is a joke nfl players treat it like its a right to play football well its not

    No that’s not true. The NFL doesn’t have the power to put someone in jail. The law does and the law was more lenient on Rice than the NFL. They applied the law based on his history and testimony from everyone involved. The average person would get the same treatment. If you wanted him in jail complain to the New Jersey prosecutors.

  33. DeMaurice Smith why don’t you hire Rice as your personal assistant?

    Stop telling us the problems and start offering solutions.

  34. Don’t worry, I’m sure the Cowboys will sign him before the end of the summer.

  35. “He did a horrble thing and probably not just once, but sometimes in life, you simply do not get a second chance.”

    I thought you were talking about Tom Brady, but naaaa…he has gotten many chances to cheat.

  36. I’m sure Smith is shocked that no team would want to sign a declining skills RB who knocked out his now wife on video. You’d think they’d be lining up to sign this public relations nightmare. Come on Demaurice.

  37. And Tim Tebow was whiteballed by the NFL before signing with the Eagles.

  38. The NFL Discipline Schedule

    1. 250,000 fine for pleading guilty in open court to obstructing justice in a double murder

    2. Two game suspension if you KO a woman in an elevator

    3. Four game suspension, One million dollar fine, and the loss of two high draft choices if you probably knew something, according to Roger Goodell’s lackey, Ted Wells.

    Reelect Roger Goodell !! !!!!! !

  39. What’s worse: punching your wife in the face (Rice) or shooting BBs at squirrels (Jameis Winston)?

  40. Rice is old and has been declining. His off the field issues have just ensured that no team gives him a shot. 90% of the UDFA rookies could provide the same production as Rice at a fraction of the price without the issues. Rice has no future in the NFL.

  41. Rice should thank Ray McDonald for getting arrested twice in 72 hours for his continued domestic violence issues …

    As long as these idiots keep getting arrested for DV it will keep Rice out as he is the poster boy for DV …

  42. Ho- Hum, All these sour grapes from this woman-beating coward..He’s probably on vacation somewhere driving a Lambo around..Don’t waste a moment’s sympathy for this total loser..He’s just a punk

  43. Unless “blackballed” has somehow been re-defined as “washed up”, Smith has no clue what he is talking about. Rice looked awful in 2013, and his past workload suggests he didn’t have much left. If you want a good comparison, check the recently retired Maurice Jones-Drew, who was positively brutal over his last couple of seasons.

    Black balling it isn’t; no one is interested.

  44. I was a vick fan. But what he did to those dogs i really didnt want him back in the nfl. But guess what he got a 2nd chance and he choice to use it right. Give rice one more shot

  45. What is a shame is not that Ray Rice does not get a second chance, but that other players that have done the same thing (just not on film) do.

  46. Screw ray rice, screw those who support him. His actions aren’t only criminal, they are immoral. This is the kind of behavior that is ruining the nfl, and football. Every time ray rice, ray macdonald, beat a woman it becomes a blight on the black men of America, and playing football is a priveledge not a right in this country, so he should get blackballed. If you think he deserves a second chance, he should, but not playing foorball, go work at target. This league is a joke now .

  47. He’s being blackballed thanks to the ridiculous sanctimonious reaction by the idiot masses.

    By the way, what’s the latest on Mrs Rice? Has she been beaten to death by Ray yet? Is she sporting any fresh black eyes? No? W-wwhat?? I mean, it’s been a year since the incident already. SURELY an abuser like Ray has roughed her up again since then, right? I mean, all you geniuses in the media were telling this woman how to live her life and that she should leave this terrible man she’s been with for 5 years, and that it’s bound to happen to her again. Nevermind that SHE charged at HIM in the elevator, she even apologized for HER role in the incident, saying it wasn’t 100% Ray’s fault (a pretty mature thing to say, if you ask me), and you genius Monday morning psychologists ripped her for it.

  48. Glad this washed up, stat plunging, geezer, motherless goat, scum bag is not on the ravens anymore. Hopefully he won’t be on any other team.
    I’ll take the dead money, baltimore fan…

  49. Go on a job interview and when they ask if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime and you tell them you beat your wife but its all good now………don’t expect a call back

  50. I guess beating up women is okay with DeMaurice.

    I tell you what – let Ray Rice get treated EXACTLY like he did to that women including being knocked out and dragged from an elevator and let’s revisit.

  51. A player of his caliber didn’t he average 3.5 yards a carry last time he was playing. Don’t worry though the Cowboys will give him a shot.

  52. Yes he is. He knocked out his girlfriend on camera with a right cross and dragged her unconscious body. Do you want him on your team? He may be forgiven by friends and family but the NFL has no obligation to give him a second chance. There are plenty of players just as good as he is (now) waiting to get a chance.

  53. Well, if you’re gonna blackball a guy, make it an easy one.
    He wasn’t worth a crap his last season anyway.

    Who does Smith think should be lining up to sign him?

    It’s easy to blackball a guy who’s not any good in the first place.
    So he thinks teams should be lining up to sign him in anticipation of getting 3.1ypc?

  54. It just happens to be the perfect storm of bad performance on top of bad behavior.
    Why waste a roster spot and deal with the baggage?

  55. I think it’s because as soon as a team picks him up. the media will start playing that video again of him knocking out his wife in the elevator. It’s a powerful video image, and it’s out there forever. My guess would be teams don’t want to deal with that.

  56. Poster ‘boy’??? He was a man, last I checked. I thought O.J. Simpson owned that title, but hey, they needed a new en-eye-gee-gee-ay to be the face of domestic violence. Robert Blake or Phil Spector would have sufficed but I guess there wasn’t enough melanin in their skin. Did BIG Ben’s issues get the widespread coverage that Greg Hardy, Ray Rice and Ray McDonald received???

  57. Some solid back will blow a knee out in the Preseason & Ray will get a chance. I’m sure he is in GREAT shape hoping this call may come. Then the circus will begin!!

  58. Blackballed???

    He should consider himself fortunate he is not in jail.

    You beat up a woman and dragged her around by her hair, what did you expect, a Nobel Peace Prize? Everybody knows you get those by doing nothing.

  59. So no team wants to sign an over the hill, high mileage running back with a penchant for throwing haymakers at his spouse in elevators and this is somehow the owner’s fault?

  60. Mr. Smith, it’s a shame that a lot of these players are so stupid and keep putting you in a bad spot. But if these players were any smarter, they wouldn’t be voting for you to represent them. You just better hope that they stay stupid.

  61. Patriots still cheat and the Packers still choke……..

    Nothing new here.

  62. This guy Smith is about the lamest advocate I’ve ever seen. Dude, Rice isn’t getting any chances because he beat the crap out of his fiance in an elevator. He’s lucky he’s not in prison. Of all the “causes” Smith could get behind, it’s interesting that he picks this one.

    Art Shell he ain’t.

  63. Of course he is. What’s funny is that he is vilified as the worst guy ever because he made one mistake while Vick murdered dogs and was given a shot. Then you have guys that drove drunk and killed people and got another shot and numerous other crimes that are worse than stupidly punching your partner while you were drunk and after she hit you.

    I honestly think people would have cared less had he killed someone than what he did. Amazing.

  64. You cannot excuse NFL teams doing something wrong just because you don’t feel sorry for Rice because of his history. If NFL teams called each other and said we won’t sign him if u don’t sign him(which is what Smith is suggesting), its collusion and may be illegal. I don’t feel bad for Rice at all, but it doesn’t excuse the NFL for its wrong doing.

  65. Hardy who beat a woman with a rifle butt and then threw her on a couch full of guns and threatened to blow her brains out but paid her off to keep quiet is deemed worthy but because Rice threw one punch, after being hit and spit on, but it was caught on film so he is persona non-grata. NOT TRUE. He did the unthinkable, he gave personal text messages from an NFL owner to ESPN to be publicly aired. Where I feel the previous is far more reprehensible, lets not fool ourselves. If you do something that affects an NFL owner in even the slightest way, you wont play again. But you threaten to murder, beat wives, beat children, hell they could beat their grandmother and it would be ok but DONT EVER do something to piss off an owner.

  66. He’s an ineffective 28 yr. old RB on the decline of his career with a MAJOR PR problem. Tell me why ANY team would want that?

    The only person I feel sorry for is his wife, especially if she stuck around for his money because he ain’t getting any more of it from the NFL.

  67. NFL teams are not avoiding him simply because of the punch he threw. There are plenty of players in the league with DV charges.

    In Ray’s case he is being avoided because he has a declining skill set at a devalued position, is a PR nightmare and worst of all is maintaining a, “C’mon guys, what did *I* do?” attitude.

  68. I think Ray Rices punishment was too harsh given what he did – “Your career is over”.
    A player should be punished but look at the circumstances.

    Why not fire anyone in the USA that does anything wrong?
    And then bar them from working for a year.
    And then make it hard to ever get employment again.

  69. Adrian Peterson used a branch to beat his four year old child until he bled. Yet, he is in demand…why?

    He is like Michael Vick, the dog killer when he was given a second chance.

    Both of those guys had/have exceptional talent to contribute in the NFL.

    Rice’s stats have diminished and he is aging and is a smaller man, in addition to having the beating video getting a wide distribution; all factors which make his a very long shot to get an offer.

  70. So Rice is blackballed. I have NO problem with that at all. Rice hit his wife, not the NFL owners or GMs.

    If PFT has their collective panties in a wad about Rice being blackballed, then why don’t they do a story about Rush Limbaugh being blackballed by ESPN? Last I checked, Rush didn’t beat up his wife in a public place.
    Oh yes I forgot, Rush doesn’t have a UNION to protect him.
    This is a prime example of how a union-protected person can go out and commit whatever crime they choose, and the union will go to court to demand that the employer re-hire the person. By the way, it isn’t “Rice’s job”, it is the roster spot that is OWNED by the TEAM, NOT the player. Players have no “rights” to a roster spot whatsoever.

    De Smith is despicable for defending Rice IMO. But that must be Goodell’s fault too eh? [sarcasm]

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