The Baltimore Ravens (12-3) announced their plans to honor living legend and former Super Bowl champion with the franchise Ray Rice during the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins scheduled for Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Rice, still a young 36 man, will be recognized both for his achievements on the field and also for his efforts towards personal improvement following a domestic violence incident that put an end to his career a decade ago.
A three-time Pro Bowler while in Baltimore and a member of the team that went on to win the Super Bowl following the 2012 regular season, he led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage between 2009 and 2012.
There's zero doubt Rice is one of the Ravens' all-time greats, putting together four consecutive seasons of more than 1,100 yards.
Off the field, Rice's career was overshadowed by a domestic violence incident involving his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, which led to his release from the Ravens and an indefinite suspension by the NFL. Rice and Palmer, who later married, have two children together.
Since the incident, Rice has worked with domestic violence groups and spoken to NFL and college teams about his experiences, and in all honesty, it's sad he was never given another chance at playing in the NFL, whether that was via returning to the Ravens or any other franchise.
Rice also established a non-profit to support underprivileged children in Baltimore and New Rochelle, New York, where he is a native.
Ravens President Sashi Brown spoke highly of Rice ahead of Sunday's honoring of the player by his franchise, saying "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," Brown stated.
The Ravens' decision to honor Rice as their "Legend of the Game" comes a decade after his last NFL game, although that should have never been the case, not at least looking at what Rice has worked on and done since.