Teams are reluctant to give former NFL running back Ray Rice a second chance. Since winning his appeal months ago and becoming a free agent, there has been little interest for him.
There was a report last week that said that an NFL team nearly signed him, before the owner stepped in and nixed that deal. Now, the co-founders of a national organization called ‘A Call To Men’ are advocating that Rice be given a second chance, as well as encouraging men to end domestic violence against women.
Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, the co-founders of the organization, have reportedly been working with Rice since November when he won his appeal. In addition, they believe that he deserves to play in the league again.
“We have been around a lot of abusive men, but our experience with Ray has been tremendously positive,” Porter said to ESPN this weekend. “We feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance. He’s deserving of it.”
Over the past nine months, Porter and Bunch have developed a friendship with the former Baltimore Ravens back. During this time, they have seen him off the field doing many speaking engagements, as well as work with young athletes at his alma mater in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Rice has said that he would like his daughter to know him beyond the incident in an Atlantic City elevator.
“He’s held himself accountable,” Bunch added. “He is saying everything that you would want him to say and doing everything that you would want him to do. So why wouldn’t he deserve another chance? His work in the area of education young men is more important than getting back on the field. He knows that and has said that to us. He is seeing the bigger picture. He has a desire to compete again, but also to make a difference in the world. This is what mistakes should be about; learning from then and teaching others. We’ve been in front of a lot of batterers. He is as transparent as I’ve seen, and as sincere as I’ve seen.”
Teams are worried about the image that would come with signing Rice. Yet, the Chicago Bears signed former NFL player Ray McDonald after he was let go by the San Francisco 49ers – after they stood behind him following his first domestic violence arrest. Then, once he was arrested again for a second domestic violence incident with the same woman, the Bears let him go – and he may never play in the league again.
However, Rice has only been caught one – and the video is the most horrific part of his battle, as that’s why teams are not willing to give him a call. Currently, he’s working out in Connecticut to get the second chance that may never come in the NFL.