Much was made about Baltimore Ravens fans who chose to wear Ray Rice jerseys to the team’s divisional face off against Pittsburgh as a show of support for the beleaguered, banned running back. Yet the controversial support he received in Baltimore pales in comparison to the backing he’s getting from some of his most loyal stalwarts back home.
As reported by Talk of the Sound, Rice’s former head football coach at New Rochelle High in New York threatened to resign if officials removed Rice’s retired high school jersey from the school’s Wall of Fame.
That threat from longtime New Rochelle headman Louis DeRienzo was apparently the answer to the Ray Rice wall of fame riddle that we posed here Thursday. DeRienzo was asked directly by local news channel News12 whether he threatened to boycott team games because of the district’s lack of support for Rice. His answer? “No comment.”
A bully defending a domestic abuser? You don’t say …
Meanwhile, there are clearly students at the school in Rice’s camp, too …
The Rice situation is a complicated one for New Rochelle students, who have seen Rice donate a significant amount of time and money to the school in recent years. At the same time, no one can condone what he did, let alone how it unfolded. All of that makes the removal of his jerseys from the school’s wall of fame feel like a fitting punishment, complete with the school’s principal claiming that it may be only a temporary sanction.
Apparently the conciliatory tone of school officials was enough to stem the tide of discontent from members of the football team, if not the coaches. There had been fleeting talk of a boycott of the team’s Saturday game against Ramapo, but players themselves told News 12 that was not the case.
In fact, the tables have turned in entirely the other direction, with Talk of the Sound reporting that Rice is now expected in attendance at New Rochelle’s Saturday game. It goes without saying that his presence at the field will bring plenty of additional eyes, whether the current Hugeunot squad wants them or not.