Ray Rice speaks at Liberty University
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is set to speak at Liberty University.
Rice used to professionally play for the Baltimore Ravens until 2014 . He was the Running Back.
Back in February of 2014, a video was released by TMZ showing Rice hitting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator. However, Palmer and Rice later got married and are still together.
Months after it became public, the incident lead to Rice being terminated from the NFL September of 2014.
The 30-year-old father and motivational speaker goes to several events to advocate a positive message and that "the violent incident is not representative of who he is."
Rice is now a high school football coach near his hometown in New York.
He works to make sure young adults don't make the same mistakes he did.
Now, it's about scoring touchdowns in the game of life.
Rice spoke about domestic abuse before thousands of students inside the vines center.
He saw it as a kid and used football to escape from it.
"Football was my go to. It's what we talked about out here today. Football was my medication," Rice said to ABC 13 News.
The former running back lost his career when THIS video surfaced of him punching his then fiance, now wife.
A video he one day will have to talk to his daughter about, but until that time comes, he wants to be a strong father and husband.
"The conversation will happen and it will go a lot smoother," he said.
That's the message he spread to students, telling them that this false sense of masculinity that comes from being abusive doesn't make anyone a man.
"I had to learn a very hard lesson with that dealing with myself, and I'm going to go out there day in and day out to help as many people as I can," Rice said after convocation this morning.
Others joined the discussion on domestic abuse. One student talked about helping a friend through an abusive relationship.
"You need to get help too, and you need to be selfish and need to focus on yourself," current LU student Nikki Eggeman said.
Rice works with young adults, and says every child has a purpose.
He wants them to know to ask for help when they hit the points he did, and to not take the same roads of abuse.
He says sports can be a tool to help.. but they're not the end all be all for finding an answer.
"What I will be doing the rest of my life, touchdowns won't even come close to the lives I will be able to save," Rice said.
He is now spreading his message at schools around the country and spoke to the LU athletes after convocation.