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John Harbaugh on Ray Rice incident: 'We're probably not going to get away from it and probably rightly so'

Harbaugh said he's hopeful the Ravens and the NFL can positively impact society following a disturbing moment caught on camera from the team's former running back.

Rob Carr

For those wanting and hoping for the Ray Rice saga to simply go away, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a message, whether they want to hear it or not.

It won't.

It's going to be something that sticks with this team throughout the season and possibly longer. But Harbaugh, speaking to reporters during his regular Monday press conference, did express a bit of optimism about what the franchise can do moving forward in regards to the issue of domestic violence.

Essentially, if the Ravens can do their part to help with changing the overall landscape of this issue through the realm of sports, then maybe something positive can come from a particularly disturbing incident.

"It has ramifications beyond sports. It's a bigger issue than sports. It's a societal issue," Harbaugh said. "It's a problem that is all across society, not just in our country, and it's something that needs to be addressed. And historically, sports have been a catalyst for change, for positive change, especially in this country over the years, and that's a good thing. So, if good can come out of that in some way and our players and our organization can be a part of that somehow, I would really embrace that. I really hope we can do that.

"So, that part of it is important and it was very important and it was part of what we went through. And I thought our guys handled it great, but they also did a great job of preparing for the football game. Stepping away from [the situation], I'm sure [the players] watched TV. It was pretty much the topic of conversation all through the weekend; it's going to continue to be. So, I guess where I'm leading to — because I'm thinking this through as I'm answering the question — is, we're probably not going to get away from it and probably rightly so. Not just us, the league [too]. And hopefully it impacts society in a good way going forward."

Since the Rice incident, the Ravens partnered with the House of Ruth Maryland, an intimate partner violence center, to help combat the issue of domestic violence. The organization gave a $600,000 donation to the organization and will participate in a variety of educational programs on domestic violence.