Ray Rice Cheered, Twitter Explodes.
Some 28,000 people showed up for the fourth day of Ravens minicamp on Monday night. The setting was electric, capped off by an impromptu appearance by Ray Lewis. Even Steve Biscotti got in the act, riding his golf cart around the field and almost running over Matt Elam in the process.
But perhaps the biggest news story to come out of practice was the applause lavished upon Ray Rice as he came out on to the field. The fan support has lit the Twittersphere on fire and led to a number of angry columns condemning both the fans and the team.
On top of that, the Ravens are on the receiving end of massive backlash from featuring a smiling Ray Rice on the front page of their website as well as video of the cheering. Here is a (nice, relatively speaking) sampling of the thousands of angry responses.
I am so baffled by the Ravens' pro Ray Rice PR blitzkrieg. How is this something you publish? http://t.co/zaVTxxRmdV
— Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) July 29, 2014
Ravens seem to be institutionally turning the Ray Rice matter into an "Us Versus The World" issue, which is a craven and dreadful mistake.
— Jason Gay (@jasonWSJ) July 29, 2014
I’m not a PR guy. But I can’t imagine any good PR guy thinks the way the @Ravens are handling the Ray Rice situation is wise.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 29, 2014
Anchoring the front page of http://t.co/RNe1VCngye trying to gain sympathy for Ray Rice in the midst of all this is a horrible PR move.
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) July 29, 2014
We can agree that featuring the video of Rice getting cheered probably wasn’t the best idea the Ravens have had lately. If they truly want the matter to go away (at least in the eyes of the media), they can’t draw more attention to it like this.
The fans cheering for Rice are there to support the player, not his actions. I don’t think that anybody in the stadium last night is supporting domestic violence, at least I certainly hope not. But that doesn’t mean that the Ravens PR department was justified in putting the spotlight on him either.
After all, every player and coach was cheered when they walked on the field, so why put up a specific video like this? It’s almost like a slap in the face to those who are angry over the short, two game suspension. Hopefully whoever decided to put the video up learned their lesson, and at least got a good scolding.
Do you think the Ray Rice video was in poor taste?