According to USA Today, Ray Rice has officially had his domestic violence charges dropped. The former Raven running back is now free to put the troubling issue completely behind him. If you remember correctly, Rice was admitted into a pretrial program that included a $125 fine as well as anger management counseling. In exchange, Rice's slate would be wiped clean in the eyes of the law for the incident.
Rice was caught on security camera footage, hitting his then fiance in the face knocking her unconscious, and then dragging her body out of an elevator. Rice and his now wife Janay categorized the issue as a misunderstanding gotten out of control.
Initially suspended by Roger Goodell and the NFL for two games, under public pressure, Goodell then increased the suspension to an indefinite status. After an appeal, an arbitrator ruled that he should be reinstated. However, despite a promising career, Rice has yet to sign with a team after the issue. Some could say that the Rice issue was the turning point of the NFL starting to take violent crimes more seriously and pushing for teams to shed that image from the league.
Rice's entrance into the pretrial program drew a public outcry since there was video evidence as well as Rice's own admission of the events. With domestic violence reaching a boiling point as a talking topic, Rice was the public scapegoat for the thousands of domestic violence cases in the United States that go unreported or not properly dealt with by the law. The pretrial program is more often used for non-violent offenders, with some of the criticism pointed at New Jersey for seemingly letting a high profile case get away.
Rice called the situation a "nightmare" and told the Baltimore Sun that he is trying to move forward now.
"It’s an unfortunate situation for me and my wife. It’s unfortunate. There’s people that go through domestic violence on all different levels. We truly know we had one bad night, but I always preach that one bad decision and your dream can turn into a nightmare," Rice said. "We truly lived it, but now the way to come clean with it is to own it and try to help now. There’s no reason that no one should have to go through what me and my wife been through, no one. I take full responsibility for my actions."
With Rice completely free of the incident in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the NFL itself, hopefully the former Ravens' running back can find himself a new employer in the NFL and get back to how his life was before his mistake.