Ray Rice and “infamy” are synonymous. We never need to discuss again the 2000 yard, 15 TD season, or the 3 Pro Bowls, or what a huge threat he was catching the ball. No sarcasm at all in saying that. Everything about Ray Rice before the February 2014 elevator assault doesn’t matter.
What he does after that does though. You’re never going to forget the images from that video, and neither will Ray Rice. He never should.
But if you’ve been watching Ray Rice since, it’s very hard to not respect what he’s done. He’s said it himself that it’s not to try and have people forget the horrible crime he committed, but rather to teach his kids a lesson, and gain their respect back.
And now just this week, he pledged to donate all of his 2016 salary to domestic abuse charities, if a team gave him the chance to play. After all of that, I think that yes, we can root for Ray Rice. As a society, we’ve got to start moving towards reconciliation. We never have to forget what he did to his wife in that elevator. We don’t have to endorse that. But we don’t have to act like athletes can’t change. If we’re not going to forgive people that actively seek reconciliation for the sake of reconciliation, not for the sake of their own careers or their own gain, then we don’t have the society that we think we do, or that any of us want to live in.