For NFL fans, today is a special day. It’s the National Football League’s Hall of Fame (HOF) enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Every year, the NFL admits a limited number of former great players into the HOF. Most professional athletes want to be remembered as professionals who carried themselves with dignity on and off the field.

However, every profession has its exceptions. Consider Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens superstar running back who once had fame, money, and talent.

Ravens fans considered him a great back and a good guy. But the façade diminished after a February 2012 video surfaced.In the video, Rice punched his fiancée (now his wife) in the face and knocked her unconscious. Take a second to think about this brutality. Rice earned his living lifting weights and running over men in helmets and pads that weighed more than 300 pounds. The video is graphic beyond words.

Domestic violence video costs Ray Rice his NFL career

After Rice faced domestic abuse charges, the Ravens ended Rice’s employment. Rice has since paid his debt to society and wants to rejoin the NFL. If you look at any discussionboard, you will see many opinions. Some fans despise him and want him to go away. On the other hand, he does have supporters who think everyone deserves a second chance.

Like other professional sports, the NFL has players with questionable character.

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Does Rice deserve another chance? It depends on your thought process. How does domestic violence rate against killing someone, drug abuse or alcoholism? For instance, several years ago, Quarterback Michael Vick spent time in prison for funding a dogfighting operation.

After completing his prison sentence, he sought another opportunity in the NFL. Unlike Rice, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have both given Vick opportunities.

He even signed another monster contract after leaving prison. And then you have a former player named Leonard Little, who played football for the St. Louis Rams.

In 1998, while drunk, Little blew through a red light and killed another driver; authorities charged him with involuntary manslaughter. He served no prison time and continued playing football. Then in 2004, cops busted him again for driving while drunk. Although no one died, Little continued playing until 2009.

Does the punishment always fit the crime?

So where do professional sports draw the line when offering up second chances? Pete Rose, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds, received a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball games. Rose killed no one or punched any women, but Major League Baseball banned him for life. So is gambling worse than domestic violence or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol?

Obviously so.

Does Rice deserve to play again? This depends on a potential employer. Rice only needs one team to give him another chance. And there are 32 teams. Team owners may avoid Rice since he will turn thirty in January. History has proven that most NFL running backs slow down at thirty. Besides, the human body can only take so much punishment before falling apart. Also problematic is that he hasn’t played professional football in two years. Even if given a chance, he will miss training camp, which has already started for the 2016-17 season.

A team owner could offer Rice an opportunity without much risk. Rice could receive the league minimum and a one-year deal with incentives. But will team owners and fans be able to remove the image of Rice punching his wife? Millions have watched the ubiquitous video so it could be difficult to forget. For Rice, the upside is that running back injuries always rack up during the season. If Rice stays in football shape, he could find a potential suitor willing to bring him back to the NFL. If he is humble and has truly turned his life around, then he just might receive another opportunity.

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