Ray Rice has Ravens owner's support

ByJamison Hensley ESPN logo
Monday, March 24, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said running back Ray Rice has a future with the team despite being arrested on a domestic violence assault charge last month.

"If everybody was one-strike-and-you're-out, then we'd all be in trouble," Bisciotti told ESPN at the NFL owners meetings Monday. "When somebody repeats mistakes, it's showing a lack of character to me. You can't take what Ray's done -- the kind of locker-room influence he's been and the kind of community commitment that he's shown -- and say he's a different person."

Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence on Feb. 15 after a physical altercation with his fiancée at an Atlantic City casino. No court date has been set.

A video obtained and posted online by TMZ shows Rice lifting the woman by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor. Rice's attorney, Michael Diamondstein, said the footage is authentic but incomplete.

"This is going to hurt his reputation, regardless of how it works out," Bisciotti said. "It's humiliating to him and his fiancée, and they're both dying over this negative publicity."

Bisciotti said he has spoken with Rice about the incident.

"I showed my support," Bisciotti said. "Would I show my support with repeated failures? No."

Rice was one of three Ravens players to be arrested in a 22-day period. Backup wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested for possession of marijuana on Feb. 21, and reserve offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of battery on March 9.

Asked whether he was concerned about his team's image, Bisciotti said, "I'm disappointed, but I'm not concerned."