Advertisement

A lesson about the athletes we cover

The phone call arrived late on a Saturday in February from a friend. The message delivered was shocking: star running back Ray Rice, one of the Ravens' most popular and community-oriented players, had been arrested.

The phone call arrived late on a Saturday in February from a friend. The message delivered was shocking: running back Ray Rice, one of the Ravens' most popular and community-oriented players, had been arrested for knocking out his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.

It was a tense weekend of phone calls and texting. I didn't leave the house, staying in close contact with Sun editors and reporters. It set in motion a story that rocked the Ravens and the NFL, igniting a national firestorm and ongoing conversation about domestic violence.

Advertisement

That weekend would be followed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell bungling the original punishment, a two-game suspension, and later upgrading it to an indefinite suspension, which was spurred undoubtedly by a graphic video of the incident that had been released.

The Ravens terminated Rice's $35 million contract, and though he has been reinstated from his suspension, no team has signed the former Pro Bowler. The entire episode offered a grim reminder about the athletes we cover: We don't really know them beyond what they do on the field.

Advertisement
Advertisement