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Ray Rice Will Speak To Alabama Football About Domestic Violence

A closeup of Ray Rice addressing the media.

OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23: Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens addresses a news conference with his wife Janay (not pictured) at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ray Rice was a Super Bowl champion and a three-time Pro Bowler, before a horrific video surfaced, depicting an altercation between the running back and his then-fiancée (and now, wife) Janay Palmer. The incident, and the video that followed, effectively ended his football career.

All indications are that Rice has done what he can to make amends for that disturbing incident. He and Janay have since married, and she has spoken on his behalf about how he has changed since the incident.

Rice's football career is now behind him, and he's now focusing on educating others about domestic violence issues. He has previously spoken about the issue on a panel with Brenda Tracy, a survivor of sexual assault from football players at her alma mater Oregon State, who has become one of the leading voices on the issue in the football world.

Alabama has a series of "Title IX speakers," who discuss issues with the team. Rice has been invited to speak to the Crimson Tide about his experiences.

https://twitter.com/cecilhurt/status/1164673737339392000?s=21

More from Saban on Rice, from AL.com:

“Well, he’s obviously going to talk about how to treat the opposite sex and having the proper respect for other people,” Saban said when asked about Rice’s appearance. “And I think that’s important to relationships. It’s important as a person to be able to do those things in a very respectful manner.”

Alabama has previously had speakers who were victims of domestic violence.

[...]

“I think a lot of the players can relate to (Rice’s) circumstance,” Saban said. “And it will be interesting to hear a guy that has had issues that now has turned a corner and has really done everything he can to help other people not have the same problem that he has. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him doing that and we’re certainly glad to have him here.”

After the 2014 video surfaced, Saban spoke about it to the media, saying that he uses public incidents like it to "teach his players." Now, Rice, who has spoken to other prominent programs like Florida State, will do so directly.

There will always be concerns about inviting controversial figures like Ray Rice to things like this, though by all accounts, he's done the right things and seems legitimately contrite following the 2014 incident. Hopefully that continues, and the Crimson Tide players are able to take positive things away from his story.

[AL.com]