by DOMINICK PUENTE//Editorial Assistant

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With domestic violence and sexual assault cases becoming common in sports across the globe, former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice is attempting to help prevent sexual assault by telling his story.

In September of 2014, Rice was released by his team after a video of him punching his fiancée became public. While being one of the best running backs in the NFL at the time, this incident caused the fall of his career.

After investigations were complete, Rice attempted to get his career back in order and return to the NFL. However, due to sexual assault cases beginning to cause more uproar, teams refused to sign Rice to avoid tarnishing the franchise name.

Three years later, Rice has begun to speak to programs and different schools about the topic of decision making and facing consequences after choosing the wrong path.

Although Rice has faced negative headlines and stories, I believe he has become a better and respectable man for his actions now that he is attempting to help kids learn how terrible sexual assault is and how it can impact lives in a negative way. Not only do these actions affect him, but he has finally understood that what he had done affected the lives of others.

Although people may or may not believe in second chances, the fact that Rice is attempting to help people through his mistakes shows that he deserves to be given a second chance. Few guilty parties of sexual assault can own up to their actions and consequences to talk to young kids to help them before they make the same mistakes he made.

Rice has visited Don Bosco Prep High School in New Jersey recently to talk about his sexual assault incident, and he also has been volunteering at New Rochelle High School in New Jersey for the football team throughout the year.

His message of being able to have quality decision making, along with perseverance, are traits that kids need to be taught at an early age to decrease the chances of sexual assault in the future.

Many athletes who face sexual assault allegations do not go the extra mile past forgiveness and apologizing while continuing their careers in sports. Rice has gone an extra step to talk to college and high school students to spread awareness. Yet when the topic of sexual assault is brought up, Rice is one of the notable people brought up out of hatred and spite.

Whether coaching at Don Bosco High as a running back coach is what Rice wants to do with his life, or returning to the NFL for another shot, he should be granted his wish as long as he stays on a clean path and does not make any more life-changing mistakes.

He has gone out of his way to help shape the minds of young students and athletes while educating the younger generations on sexual assault. Rice is doing more than any other athlete who has been involved in sexual assault.

While sexual assault is an occurring problem, having the ability to prove to the public that he has overcome the obstacles he has faced during the past three years should be good enough to reinstate Rice with the rest of society.

Rice deserves a second chance to do what he wants as a career. Instead of being labeled as a monster, he is attempting to rewrite his legacy in a positive way, and he is proving why he should be thought of as a reformed man.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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