Most would assume that a NFL running back and Super Bowl Champion would have no experience being on the receiving end of bullying. They would wonder how someone who has been celebrated their entire professional career could relate to someone who habitually picked on and abused. But Ray Rice has seen bullying up close and personal.
“A girl kept picking on my sister. The girl threw a rock, hit my sister in the eye.” Instead of retaliating which would only escalate things, Ray’s family got administrators and authorities involved. And according to Ray, “No problems since.” (USA Today).
Ray has spent the past few years investing time into speaking with youth at Maryland-area schools about bullying and ways to help prevent it. Every time the young man turns around, there’s another tragedy in the news with a student who was bullied. The most recent, the death of 12-year-old Bailey O’Neill, prompted Ray to bring his battle against bullying into more of the public eye. After issuing a public vow through his Facebook account, Ray is committed to making sure that Bailey doesn’t become “just another statistic” and that his fight against bullies becomes even more heated.
Thursday, Ray provided written testimony to the Maryland House of Delegates to support proposed legislation that would make cyber bullying a crime in Maryland. He’s increasing his efforts to change – and save – lives.
“I receive hundreds of messages through email and facebook each week from kids and teens who are bullied to the point of contemplating taking their own lives. We need to change. Words have consequences.” (BaltimoreRavens.com)