Baltimore is lucky to have a man like Ray Rice in their community. It almost seems like clockwork that every month we cover a great event that Rice did to give back to his fan base. At 26, Rice’s leadership qualities and compassion to change the lives of youth are second to none.
Ray Rice Day is Rice’s premier event. It’s a day of fun, football and a unique opportunity for children to rub elbows with some of their favorite Ravens players. However, the actions taken by 1,124 people yesterday who hurled vocal backlash towards Rice and his employees is absolutely sickening.
The actions of these folks are why events like Ray Rice Day are absolutely necessary. Most of the 1,124 bellyachers are parents, responsible for the lives of others and often even the idols of their children. To have the audacity to email Rice’s employee, a complete stranger, and use foul language and insult them because there is limited space for a free event is just disgusting.
What type of example are you setting for your children? It’s not like Rice was creating a public frenzy over five spaces – there are 500 available! The fact that 19,500 children can’t get in shouldn’t be looked at as a negative – it’s positive. There clearly is a demand for Rice’s events and his voluntary efforts and messages rapidly spread throughout the community.
Within a year, Rice’s life has changed drastically. Rice not only signed his name to a $35 million contract, but more importantly, he became a father. His daughter Rayven is his “princess,” as he’s referred to her during our conversations multiple times. Not only has Rice been parenting his own flesh and blood, he’s been parenting this city.
Social media is a wonderful tool – just look at its involvement in helping those affected in the Boston Marathon Bombing. What social media and email shouldn’t be used for is to bully and put down others, regardless of their celebrity and paycheck.
In Rice’s case, he deserves every penny he’ll ever make. Sure, he may purchase a car most of us can only dream of from time to time, but the amount of his own money he puts back into the community or the foundations of his teammates is commendable. For instance, I hosted an event with Rice the day before the Ravens left for New Orleans. With a room packed with 200 people, Rice looked over at Super Bowl t-shirts being sold, asked me to check with the venue if they had enough for everyone and purchased 200 shirts just to show appreciation for his fan base.
Given the reach of this site and the large amount of people firing horrible emails at Rice’s staff, I’m sure this message will overlap at some point with them. If you don’t already regret your statements to his staff, look at these pictures from events with Rice just within the past month. How could anyone criticize this man?
If anyone wants to send letters to Rice and his staff, make them positive and just thank him for what he has done. The NFL stands for Not For Long and we all know that Rice won’t be playing football forever. However, there is a guy right now that this community will miss more than ever if he decides he’s had enough of this type of negative backlash by parents who do their best imitation of a kicking and screaming child via nasty emails.
Grow up Baltimore!