On Saturday, former Ravens running back Ray Rice acknowledged the parallels between the domestic-violence incident that led to his release and the altercation that severed the Kansas City Chiefs’ relationship with star Kareem Hunt.
On Monday, John Harbaugh was reluctant to make the same connection.
The Chiefs will host the Ravens on Sunday in their second game since TMZ published a video showing their Pro Bowl running back shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel in February. Hunt, who previously denied the assault, was released Friday.
Asked whether he could empathize with the Chiefs and coach Andy Reid, whom he worked for as a Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach and special teams coordinator before being hired in Baltimore, Harbaugh held back.
“I think that's just their situation,” he said at his weekly news conference. “I didn't give it too much thought, to be honest with you.”
Harbaugh coached Rice for all of his six seasons in Baltimore, presiding over his rise to a Pro Bowl running back and Super Bowl champion and his eventual fall. In 2014, the Ravens cut Rice after TMZ released footage of him assaulting his then-fiancee and now wife in an Atlantic City, N.J., casino. He was reinstated after an indefinite league suspension but never played again in the NFL.
Rice told NFL.com on Saturday that "you obviously see some similarities between what happened in my situation" and Hunt’s, but Harbaugh, when pressed on the matter, said he “didn't give it that kind of thought.”
“I was trying to go focus on winning a football game,” said Harbaugh, referring to the Ravens’ 26-16 win Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons, the team’s third straight. “I saw it, noted it, and didn't really express any opinion or judgments on it. I don't know anything about it other than what was reported, and really not too concerned about it in the sense of our football team. And I'd just kind of rather leave it at that.”