An anti-domestic violence group led by men has apologized for standing up for former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice. In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter earlier this week, the co-founders of A Call to Men said they “feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance.”
“He’s deserving of it,” said Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, noting their experience with Rice who they’ve worked with since November “has been tremendously positive.” The two also referred to Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino elevator as a “mistake.”
On Thursday, however, the group, rolled back its comments, which the leaders admitted to making “without consulting the community.”
“After hearing from so many of you who lead the work of the domestic and sexual violence movement and have supported A Call to Men, as well as our own soul searching, we realize we were wrong to independently endorse Rice’s second chance at his football career,” Porter and Bunch wrote on the group’s Facebook page.
“We also irresponsibly characterized Rice’s actions as a ‘mistake.’ We have worked tirelessly alongside you to educate the public that domestic violence is not a mistake,” they continued. “Men’s violence against women is a choice rooted in patriarchy and sexism, used to gain power and control over another person.
“We were blinded by the possibility of making a difference in a young Black man’s life who could potentially teach other young men about the impact and consequences of their choices. … We acted without upholding our own principle of having systems of accountability to ALL women.”
The two went on to cite “male entitlement” as a reason why they did not consult “those most impacted by our stance — women and more specifically, women of color.”
“We apologize to survivors, our partners, our board, our staff and ALL women,” they said.
(H/t: Huffington Post)