Any Employer Would Fire Ray Rice – Probably Sooner, Too

Ray_rice_ap_imgSo-called “regular” people get fired every day. It’s rarely front page news, unless it’s on a large scale. But when a star athlete gets the ax, that’s another story – especially when it involves controversy, scandal and illegal behavior.

When the Baltimore Ravens announced their decision to terminate the contract of running back Ray Rice yesterday, following the release of a brutal surveillance video in which he punches his then-fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator, no one was surprised. In fact, most wondered why it hadn’t happened sooner.

After all, there was already a video showing the immediate aftermath of the attack. The second video just confirmed what we already knew.

The truth is, if Rice were a “regular” guy, he would have been fired back in February when the incident occurred. Instead he was initially suspended for two games. Can you imagine if your boss found out you had committed such an atrocious crime and just told you not to come in for a couple of weeks? Chances are, you’d be in prison for much longer than that.

We talk all the time about the necessity of keeping your personal life separate from the working world. It helps you present a more professional image, and minimizes workplace distractions. And yet here is an instance where there is no separating personal from professional. Such a violent – not to mention illegal – act is something no employer would tolerate. It speaks to the character of Rice, which reflects on the Ravens organization and all of professional football. Cutting ties was their only option.

It’s tough to see what us “regular” people can take away from this upsetting story, but it is an extreme example of something we should all remember – an organization is only as good as its people. By striving to be the best possible version of yourself – on and off the proverbial “field” – you’ll make yourself a more desirable candidate and employee.

Photo credit: Ray Rice. 2014 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) 


  1. I think this posting is misleading and does us all a disservice. If Ray Rice was just a “regular” person we probably wouldn’t know about it! It wouldn’t be front page news, it wouldn’t be all over the TV. Unless the police were called in it most likely would never had made the news, and if his girl friend/wife didn’t press charges it would just go away like so many other domestic violence crimes. Even if Mr. Rice worked in the NFL office in another capacity. The NFL probably wouldn’t know about it or if they did they would most likely wouldn’t fire him. How many companies would have your boss call you in and speak to you or send you down to HR for a consultation because of your home life?
    Cutting ties with Ray Rice was not the NFL and the Ravens only option. It was the easy way out. It was the easiest way to resolve a controversy and shine a good light on themselves. What they have done is given Ray and his wife the opportunity to spend more time with each other and their unresolved domestic violence situation. Realizing I am speaking outside my area of expertise, I suspect they could have provided his wife with counseling, both legal and psychological, possibly a life coach. The could have suspended Ray and forced him into some sort of counseling, anger management, etc. Instead, we have sent a man, that we all know to be a keg of powder and a lit match, home with his wife. He is now a person, that has had his livelihood taken away from him, his dignity stripped from him, possibly his lifestyle put in jeopardy, possibly in his mind because of his wife. And the Ravens and the NFL can say we kicked him to the curb, it’s not our problem.

  2. I am a job seeker. There is absolutely nothing in this puff piece that helps me to do that. The Ray Rice situation is a singular, sensational story and I am surprised to see it referenced here. While the story is topical I am surprised you jumped on the band wagon. As a corporate MBA there is no basis for comparison to the career of an NFL football player, particularly of the stature of Ray Rice, and me. I would appreciate info I can use and this article does not qualify. It is a stretch in the very least. As the prior comment states, “it’s not our problem” and neither is it any of our business…#nothinglearnedhere

  3. What ever happened to your innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law? Is this a case where one is tried and found guilty and punished by the press?
    But another thing to think about is whether the Baltimore Ravens have a clause in the contract that all players sign about braking the law and about the Ravens image. If one actions on or off the field brakes the contract the Ravens do have the right to terminate the contract regardless of what was done.
    It is related to work and to job search. How many times have interviews not happened because of what an employer has found out one actions on social media? Your past any your image do matter in job searching.

  4. Why is this still being brought up and sent around? Can’t something more appropriate be found and how does this relate to the “Confident Career”?!!!

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