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Anti-domestic violence group: Ray Rice deserves another chance in NFL

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In what appears on the surface to be a surprising development, the leaders of a national anti-domestic violence organization believe that Ray Rice deserves another chance to pursue a career in the NFL, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, co-founders of “A CALL TO MEN,” an organization whose aim is to show men how to end the cycle of violence against women, say their interactions with the disgraced running back over the past nine months have left them with the impression that Rice has taken responsibility for his role in the ugly incident involving then-fiancée Janay Palmer (now Rice) and a violent physical altercation that occurred in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino in February 2014.

“We have been around a lot of abusive men, but our experience with Ray has been tremendously positive,” Porter said over the weekend. “We feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance. He’s deserving of it.”

Porter added that the organization likely will “catch flak” for its support of Rice, but if he were to earn another shot at an NFL career, Rice could “have a positive impact on the next generation of manhood.”

Bunch specifically pointed out that Rice has delivered the message in several speaking engagements that it’s never too late to change one’s course in life.

“He’s held himself accountable,” Bunch said. “He is saying everything that you would want him to say and doing everything that you would want him to do. So why wouldn’t he deserve another chance? … This is what mistakes should be about: learning from them and teaching others. We’ve been in front of a lot of batterers. He is as transparent as I’ve seen, and as sincere as I’ve seen.”

A report from The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson indicate that several teams are intrigued by the prospect of bringing in Rice. The report indicated that one team “seriously considered” approaching Rice but team ownership became weary of a potential public relations hit if the team were to sign him.

Rice and his representatives and supporters are actively advocating for the running back, arguing that if Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy deserve a second chance, so does Rice.