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Ray Rice is not forgiven

"Everybody deserves a second chance" seems to be the line regarding Ray Rice's reinstatement to the National Football League following his successful appeal ("What the Ravens knew," Dec. 1). He is now eligible to play again upon signing a new contract, and the NFL Players Association referred to this decision as a "victory for a disciplinary process that is fair and transparent."

I vehemently disagree.

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I am sorry, Mr. Rice, but not everyone deserves a second chance (not even a good football player). Just as I cringed at football fans defending pedophile Jerry Sandusky at Penn State, I have been equally disheartened by fans, players, media and sponsors accepting Ray Rice and domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a national epidemic. There must be zero tolerance for domestic violence in our culture.

Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14-to-17 report knowing someone their age who has been beaten by a boyfriend. One in five high school students have reported being beaten or sexually abused by a dating partner. An estimated 240,000 pregnant women are victims of domestic violence annually, and 31,260 women were murdered by a domestic partner between 1976 and 1996.

In addition, child abuse occurs in 30-to-60 percent of domestic violence homes and up to 10 million children witness domestic violence every year with many transmitting the violence from one generation to the next.

Thankfully, Mr. Sandusky was justly prosecuted and permanently removed from football. I challenge the NFL to make a stand and achieve the ultimate victory against domestic violence by not re-signing Mr. Rice. I may stand alone in this request, but I am not afraid to ask. Domestic violence is much too important not to pose the question: Is a business, money and a football team more important to you than violence against women?

Considering the statistics above, I hope for the sake of women and children the answer will be no.

Michelle D. Breau, Sparks

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