Monday, July 28, 2014
Ravens fans repeatedly cheer Ray Rice
By Jamison Hensley
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has received a negative backlash from national media and fans since his altercation with then-fiancée Janay Palmer in February.
But, in his home stadium, Rice apparently remains one of the most popular players on the team.
On two separate instances, fans gave loud cheers when Rice was shown on the big screen at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens held their first open practice of training camp.
The first time was when Rice had a playful race with a small child along the sidelines. By the time Rice reached the end, which was a few feet from the stands, many fans gave him a standing ovation.
A few minutes later, Rice was again shown on the large video board. When fans cheered him, Rice tapped his chest.
There were many fans wearing Rice's No. 27 jersey, including several children.
Rice was suspended two games by the NFL on Thursday, and he didn't appeal the decision. He will miss the season opener against the AFC North defending champion Cincinnati Bengals and a Thursday night game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault," Rice said in a statement released by the team on Thursday. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.
“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”
Rice is scheduled to speak to reporters on Thursday.