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SportsFootball

NFL players react to Ray Rice video

Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens sits

Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens sits on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

Even NFL players, who rarely criticize each other publicly, made their feelings about Ray Rice clear Monday through social media and in interviews. Reaction was swift and powerful to the release of a video showing the Baltimore running back striking his then-fiancee, and the Ravens' subsequent decision to release him. Here's a sampling:

Broncos defensive tackle

Terrance Knighton

on Twitter:

"That man should be thrown out the nfl and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment. Smh"

"As players we must speak up. Stand up for what's right. I don't give a damn who u are or how much money you make. No place for this."

"This video makes me sick to my stomach."

"As players we always speak on how we are unfairly treated, well now what?"

Saints tackle Zach Strief:

"I don't know Ray Rice, but I know that video is disturbing. It's tough to see and it's unacceptable . . . It's upsetting."

Steelers cornerback

William Gay:

"We're talking about a life, I don't care about a sport when it comes down to domestic violence. This is real. Someone can lose their life to it. So I'm not concerned about the sport. I'm concerned about what happens in the world, what happens in real life."

Gay's mother, Carolyn, was shot and killed by Gay's stepfather in Tallahassee, Florida, when Gay was 7 years old. He volunteers at the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.

"We need to do everything we can to help Ray Rice because we don't need to run away from him and say he's evil."

Bills coach Doug Marrone, who supports Vera House, which assists victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse:

"Am I happy the NFL has taken a harder stance? . . . I mean, there is no excuse for abuse. I really believe that."

Titans tackle Michael Oher, a former teammate of Rice's in Baltimore whose locker was next to the running back:

"If my daughter was to get hit like that from another man, I'd have a serious problem with it. So I wish him the best, but it's no place for that. I don't care if you're a football player, a professional athlete or anything, a regular man or anything, there's no place for that -- striking a woman."

Judy Harris Kluger, a former New York City judge and now executive director of Sanctuary for Families, a leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence and related forms of gender violence:

"The video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee in the elevator is a graphic illustration of what goes on behind closed doors every day in this country. In my years as a prosecutor and judge, I never saw such explicit videotape evidence of domestic violence. Today, by acting quickly and decisively, and in suspending Ray Rice and terminating his contract, the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens sent a powerful message that domestic violence will not be tolerated.

"I hope that with this action, along with the new policy outlined by Commissioner Goodell, the NFL will emerge as leaders in the fight against domestic violence."

Coach Kyle Flood of Rutgers, which Rice attended:

"Family is family, but at Rutgers we hold ourselves to an extremely high standard, and we expect a lot out of our players, and we expect a lot out of the coaches and the staff . . . I think because of those expectations, this is a sad day.

"Ray will always be a part of our family. The video I saw this morning was difficult to watch. As a husband and as a father, there's nothing that could justify what I saw on that video."

New York Sports