Friday, February 21, 2014

Explaining Ray Rice to My 6-Year-Old

I've postponed this talk for a few days, but I didn't want to wait anymore, because I didn't want the details to come out from my 6-year-old boy's kindergarten friends. Stuff like that has to come from a parent. The car ride on the way to school was the right place, and the time was now.

"Remember yesterday, when you wanted to wear your Ray Rice shirt, and I said you couldn't, and you asked me why, and I told you I'd explain later, but I didn't?


"Well, it happened. And I need to explain why I didn't let you wear his shirt. Ray Rice was arrested a few days ago. He was arguing with his friend, and maybe they hit each other, so they were both arrested, but it could be that he hit her so hard, that she fainted. Now, we don't know everything that happened yet. Maybe she hit him, and he tried to push her away to make her stop or something, but because he's a strong football player, she fell and fainted. I hope that's what happened. But if we find out that he hit her, then we can't be his fans anymore, and probably the Ravens won't want him on the team anymore."

"Because they're afraid he'll hit them too?"

"Hmm... No. Because they don't want people who hit other people on their team. So now we wait to see what happened, and the Ravens are waiting too. But until we're sure he didn't hit her, we can't be his fans and wear his shirts anymore."

So my boy is quiet for a while, and then, I kid you not, these are his exact words:

"But remember Ray Lewis--he was in the Ravens last year? He didn't do anything bad, did he?"

Oy... We're gonna need a longer car ride...

3/5 Update: A longer version of this post has been published on Huffington Post


  1. lol good thing Ray is retired :) avoids the explanation!!

  2. Lol! That's so sad and funny at the same time. Whatever happened to the time when players were just boozers and kids could relate to them because they were just like their dads? Well, in my blue collar world anyway.

  3. Maybe football isn't the sport for you guys!

  4. It really seems that Rice behaved horribly - to say the least. Good for you for having that conversation. I would not to want to have it. So many times athletes let us down.

  5. Thanks. He's a very serious kid, and we have long rides to school. We've already covered gay marriage (because there were a lot of yard signs about it before the elections), religion (because he asked me who Jesus was), and the freakin' Middle East conflict (not sure how we got there...)

  6. Ha, he's still on TV, though. (And that's my girl in the picture. She's a fan.)

  7. Very true. I thought it was weird when I saw him suit & tie giving commentary. But it's the NFL. Murder, rape, abuse it's ok as long as you can shut down an offense or throw a perfect spiral.

  8. There's a lot of Friday-Night-Lights-style, "Football is a sport for honorable men who set an example for kids" posturing, and everyone gets horribly upset when a player gets interviewed and acts like a douche, but if someone is caught organizing dog fights and killing dogs with his bear freakin' hands, all he has to do is take a break for a year.



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