A video released on Monday shows former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee (current wife) Janay Palmer and knocking her unconscious inside an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February.
However, the shocking video had little effect on most female fans of the Baltimore Ravens who wore Rice's No. 27 jersey to last night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (video below).
"There's two sides to every story," Baltimore Ravens fan Racquel Bailey told the Associated Press. "I saw the video. That's their personal business, and it shouldn't have affected his career. I don't agree with domestic violence, but she's still with him, so obviously it wasn't that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it."
Men also wore Ray Rice jerseys and used the same logic.
"Yeah, I'm pretty aware of what he did," said male fan Gage Friend. "And, yes, it was awful and it was definitely a mistake on his part, but he deserves a second chance... People have done so much worse in this league."
“I don’t agree with how they went from a two-game suspension to ending this man’s career,” LaTonya Jones told USA Today. “This is someone’s livelihood. He has a family. I don’t condone fighting because I don’t think anybody should punch anybody, but they should not have took that man’s job away.
“We shouldn’t be involved in their personal life," said Jones, referring to the public assault. "I’m sure there are some players on that team today and they’re still playing and just because they weren’t filmed, they can still play and he can’t. It’s not right.”
“I absolutely 100% support him,” added Robin Manahan. “I do. It had nothing to do with his job. He should not have lost his job. I’m supporting him all the way around. I think he’s an awesome guy, I think he’s an upstanding guy, and I think he’s an awesome football player.”
“I think whatever happened in that elevator happened in February and should have been done in February,” Maria Pirovolikos told USA Today. “I’ve met the guy. He’s such a sweet guy. He never said no when I asked for pictures or an autograph or anything. And it’s their business. His wife obviously forgave him, why can’t we?”
More female Ravens fans explained to The Washington Post why they supported and opposed Rice.
"You make mistakes, you get over them," said one Ravens fan. "We don't want America to judge him."
Oddly, none of Rice's supporters mentioned that spousal abuse and assault are against the law and are legally classified as crimes, not "mistakes," in the United States.