We all saw the video. Former Ravens RB Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancé with a right hook in an Atlantic City hotel elevator, and dragging her out of said elevator. Since the incident, Rice has been suspended for 2 games, then suspended indefinitely, released by the Ravens, and reinstated by the NFL due to an appeal made by the NFLPA. He hasn't played in a year, and has had teams talk about signing him, but with no luck.
Recently, a national anti-violence group called A Call To Men, an organization that looks to end violence against women, has worked with Rice to make him a better person. He has gone to schools, including his alma mater Rutgers, and spoke about his mistakes. The organization is calling for NFL teams to look past the incident and sign him to a deal, saying, "He held himself accountable...he is seeing the bigger picture." Basically, they're asking that he gets a second chance.
Does he deserve it?
As a human, I believe in second chances. I believe that as time goes by, wounds will heal. No matter how big the issue, there is always a chance for healing. Yes, there are some things that are unforgivable, and domestic violence is one of them. But if we can give Michael Vick a second chance for dogfighting, why can't we give Ray Rice one?
With that being said, I think he should get a second chance. BUT, he won't get one.
The Ray Rice domestic violence issue has caused a black eye to not only himself, but the NFL, which has been heavily scrutinized by the punch seen around the world. Rice is still a public relations nightmare in the eyes of many. In a recent study, women are the most important demographic in football. Yet, the Ray Rice incident was the icing on the cake as recent crisis', such as the lawsuit by NFL cheerleaders for being underpaid and hurt emotionally, has basically forced women to turn on anything other than football on Sunday's.
Looking at his career as a player, 2013 was the worst of his career. An average of 3.1 and 4 touchdowns are career lows. His predecessor, Justin Forsett, had a better year last season compared to Rice. Teams that look past the PR issue looks at his stats and are concerned that this downward trend will only go further down. The fact he hasn't played for a year means that no one knows of his physical health, so as a player himself, this is a turndown for many teams.
Ray Rice should get a second chance. But the fact that he's a PR hit and had a horrible season leads me to believe that he won't sign with a team this year. If he does, then great, let's see how it goes. If he doesn't, then he might have to look at retirement in his near future.