Ray Rice will be honored by the Baltimore Ravens this weekend in front of fans -- this almost 10 years after he infamously knocked out his significant other in an elevator.
The ex-star running back has been tapped to be the focus of Sunday's "Legend of the Game" ceremony at M&T Bank Stadium ... where they'll formally recognize his achievements both on and off the field during and after his time with the team, which ended in 2014.
His professional accolades are unquestioned -- 3-time Pro Bowler and a SB champ, among other impressive stats -- but the obvious question ... is he worthy of a spotlight after his horrific domestic violence incident? The Ravens seem to think he's earned a 2nd chance.
The team's own article on this major news is quoted as saying ... "Rice is being recognized for the player he was, and for the redemption he has worked towards. Out of the public eye, Rice has been working on himself, his relationship, and within the community."
On that front, it's true ... Rice has become an incredibly philanthropic person in and around Baltimore since 2014 -- having contributed to a number of charitable orgs, speaking on behalf of important causes (preventing DV) and contributing mightily to local youths' lives.
Rice has also acknowledged how wrong he was for punching his then-girlfriend/now-wife, Janay Palmer, which left her completely unconscious. He now says, "I truly understand why I was let go and why so many hearts changed. But hopefully people can see where I'm at now. They say people can change, right? I am not the same person I was 10-12 years ago. That's just not who I am." He says he's trying to be the best version of himself in 2023.
Ravens Prez Sashi Brown adds ... "He was also consistently in the community, giving back. Importantly, after Ray's incident he owned it. On his own accord, Ray undertook critical work within himself and to bring awareness to and educate others on domestic violence. Nothing will change his past or make it right, but Ray's work has allowed him to atone for his actions and rebuild relationships personally and professionally, including with the Ravens."
Ray has returned to Baltimore before for a 'LOTF' ceremony -- notably in 2018, when he attended on behalf of others being honored and received a warm welcome from fans.