Ray Rice has plenty of money – he signed, in 2012, a 5-year, $35 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, including a $15,000,000 signing bonus, $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $7,000,000. He now has plenty of time. He also has a bully-pulpit and, if he acts with alacrity and firmness, an opportunity to dig himself out of his hole.
1) immediately announce a tour, to inner-city, down-and-out locations across the country, at his own expense, to mix with, speak to, and educate young black (and other) youth about the need to avoid domestic violence. This should be at least 15 or 20 cities per month, but should also be directed toward developing a year-long plan. He should consider bringing his wife with him, but only if that’s what she wants;
2) reach out to two or three of the top women’s domestic violence-advocacy groups, to ask them what he can do to help their cause, and work with them on a plan;
3) Do not hide; in some ways, there is no place to hide.
Rice doesn’t need a glossy PR effort. He doesn’t need, and should shun, phoney Norah Campbell interviews like the one that Roger Goodell is doing now. Rice needs to do some of the street work.
The hardest part is the first step. Every one after that is easier. Action brings redemption, and every stop will bring recognition of good deeds. Ray Rice can be, on this issue, as he has been in football, a game changer. And a man among men.