The backlash against Ray Rice’s press conference and lack of punishment from the NFL has been swift and strong. Over at Sports on Earth, Tomas Rios wrote a great piece detailing just what was wrong with that press conference and the horrible message it sent. Now, there’s more disappointing news regarding the situation: Rice’s attorney is trying to make excuses for Rice’s horrible behavior that evening.
Check out this, from the Baltimore Sun:
The attorney for Ray Rice suggested that the Ravens running back retaliated after being struck first by his then-fiancee during a domestic-violence incident in February.
Philadelphia lawyer Michael Diamondstein, who helped Rice obtain approval for a diversionary program that will allow him to avoid jail time and offer the chance to have his record cleared in a year, appeared to give a detailed “hypothetical” account of what transpired at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., during a radio interview with Matthew Hammond of 97.3 ESPN-FM in New Jersey.
“This is just a complete hypothetical,” Diamondstein said. “Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that he entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case. Hypothetically, we litigate 100 motions, and the video comes out and the video shows — hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking —shows that Ray wasn’t the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit, but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder.
“Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty. Is that result somehow better? Is it better for the public? Is it better for the Ravens? Is it better for Ray? Is it better for Janay [Rice]?”
Whether or not Rice’s wife did indeed hit Rice first is irrelevant. He is a professional athlete, a large, strong, physically imposing man. She is not. He takes a pounding from NFL lineman and linebackers every day in his job. She does not. Even if she was repeatedly hitting him, there is no excuse for striking her back even once. And there certainly is no excuse for beating her continuously.
This doesn’t seem to be a case in which Rice lost his temper momentarily and struck his wife one time, immediately apologizing and repenting for his actions. He allegedly beat her repeatedly, knocking her unconscious before dragging her around. He then failed to apologize to her during a press conference in which he apologized to nearly every other person on the planet — most of whom where not even remotely involved.
How in the world does the fact that she possibly hit him first make any of that okay? It doesn’t. It can’t.
This is another embarrassing attempt by Rice’s camp to deflect attention away from Rice and make excuses for his behavior. It makes me incredibly sad, but in an NFL world where the punishment for smoking weed is stricter than the punishment for abusing your wife, it doesn’t make me surprised.