Rutgers football on Monday unveiled throwback uniforms for the 2020 college football season — one that paid homage to the Scarlet Knights’ glory days of the mid-to-late 2000s, when bowl game berths and winning records were still considered routine.
Yet it was curious that the first player Rutgers highlighted in the video is former running back Ray Rice, whose football career ended in 2014 after video surfaced of him knocking out fiancee Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City elevator before dragging her out into the hallway.
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To be fair, Rice has handled the consequences of his actions as well as could be expected. He has not played a down of football since that video of him surfaced. Yet he and Palmer, now married, have spoken out multiple times on the issues of domestic abuse. Rice himself has spoken on multiple occassions to NFL players and the Rutgers football team on those issues.
It’s clear the team wanted to evoke memories of when it was still competitive, as evidenced by players such as Tiquan Underwood, Devin McCourty and Eric LeGrand, significant contributors to those Scarlet Knight teams. It also makes sense considering the return of coach Greg Schiano in 2020; he led the team to a 135-68 record from 2001 to 2011.
That said, it still seems questionable, at best, to use Rice front and center of the throwback unveiling. While he undeniably enjoyed an impressive career at Rutgers (4,926 rushing yards, 49 rushing touchdowns) the Knights would have lost nothing in ommitting him in their video, instead of the scrutiny they attracted by featuring him so prominently.
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