Ravens running back Ray Rice speaks out on fan violence


Ray Rice (right) joined his former teammates Ray Lewis and Ed Reed at the White House. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

The news that a New York Yankees fan had been hospitalized after being beaten at a game last week between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals at Camden Yards was particularly disturbing to a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Running back Ray Rice took to Facebook for a mini-essay that has drawn over 11,000 likes. Rice wrote:

These reports about the guy who is fighting for his life because of wearing a yankees hat are really bothering me. There is NO excuse, EVER for hitting someone for their beliefs, the color of their skin, their differences, and certainly not for what they WEAR.

Would I rather have M&T Bank dressed in all purple during games? Of course! But if a fan dressed in a ‘Fins jersey at a Ravens/Steelers game was there, nobody should punch him in the face SMH.

Look, as a football player we are part of a specific football team but then of something bigger as well…the NFL, a brotherhood of other players. Same thing with baseball fans…be a fan of your specific team, but be a part of something bigger…a brotherhood of being fans of the sport of baseball! ENJOY the rivalries, enjoy the game!

Root for or against a team RESPECTFULLY. THERE IS NO REASON THIS GUY SHOULD BE FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE OVER A HAT. I love my O’s but being from New York, I have worn a Yankees hat before…so what are you gonna do?? Try to kill me?? Disgusted at this nonsense.

Matt Fortese, a 25-year-old fan from Hagerstown, Md., allegedly was taunted by two men for wearing the Yankees cap, according to the Baltimore Sun. When beer was thrown on his date, he confronted them and suffered a skull fracture when, in the ensuing fight, he fell five feet onto a concrete area.

Two men, Gregory Fleischman, 22 of Jarretsville, Md. and Michael Bell, 21 of Annapolis, Md. have been charged.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | June 5, 2013