Ravens’ Ray Rice on Cruz, Newtown: “It Takes Heart”

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Ravens’ RB Ray Rice, a product of New Rochelle by way of Rutgers, knows a few things about children and families dealing with adversity. His father, Calvin Reed was shot dead in a drive-by shooting when Ray was only a year old. His uncle – Myshawn Rice-Nichols  – who had become Ray’s surrogate father, was killed in a car accident in 1998 involving a drunk driver.

Yesterday, in his media session, Rice addressed the outreach done by the Giants’ Victor Cruz to connect with the families of the victims of the Newtown, CT shootings.

When you were at Rutgers, you used to visit kids who were sick. Yesterday, Victor Cruz went up to Connecticut and visited one of the families of a child who passed away in the shooting. What does it take as an athlete to go into a situation like that?

“Number one, it takes heart. You’ve got to be able to put yourself in that family’s situation to understand at least what they’re going through. That’s what it’s about. That’s something that you don’t just say, ‘I’m going to do it.’ You do it from the heart, from within and what he did was amazing.”

“Obviously, I was affected by that more than I’ve ever been affected before. One thing about it is, when we play this game of football, you want to be able to please everybody and we’re talking about winning and losing. The real losers on that end were the families of Newtown.”

“They’ve got to wake up every day in a situation and have no answers to it. An unsolved problem that no one can even imagine that it happened and we get so caught up in our own little worlds of fantasy football and winning and losing that we sort of forget that there are people out there who are really hurting. Those people of Newtown are really hurting right now.”

“That’s not an excuse for going out there and laying an egg on the field. After the game is over, you still have to face life. We all need to realize that.”