Thursday, September 11, 2014

Published 11:36 AM by with 0 comment

Dear Ray: An Open Letter to Ray Rice

Dear Ray,

I have not been quiet about this issue. I haven’t. I won’t go into detail about my thoughts or rationale, this is about you. When I heard you had been fired, then suspended, I was concerned – not for your economic well-being, but for your internal well-being. As a football star, you have dedicated your entire life to this dream. In a moment, it was taken away. In a moment, people went from loving you to extreme hatred when your name is called. It is a difficult transition. This letter is to aid in the transition.

Most people have made mistakes in their 20s. They were foolish, some could have cost us our jobs and if we were honest, some could have landed us in jail. The difference? We weren’t caught on tape – no one saw us. Ours aren’t public. Ours aren’t are televised. We aren’t famous NFL players.

At this point, you have realized who your real friends and true family are – they have not abandoned you. These are the people who should surround you and keep you positive. Listed below are some pointers to hopefully get you and your family through this trying time.

  1. As you transition from the NFL into solitude, know that football is what you do, not who you are. Get to know yourself outside of the NFL, outside of ESPN, outside of the lights, hectic travel schedule – just be you. Relax, have fun. This is not a ‘good time’, but can be if you rely on your inner-self.
  2. Domestic Violence is a terrible thing – you both require a great deal of counseling separate and together. Choose a counselor who is not in awe of you and upset with her. Choose someone who is dedicated to creating wholeness – of you and your family. Relationships are hard, marriage is one of the most difficult things I have encountered. If you really love each other, this may be the turning point to heal the past wounds of the relationship. I watched my parents love each other through difficult times – and 41 years later, they are still together, still in love, and they felt it was worth it. I, on the other hand, divorced. I felt it was worth it. The decision is yours to make. Do not let the media make the decision for you. If you stay, if she stays, that is a decision you both have to make. It is personal. It is hard.
  3. Every great person has faced adversity. It’s how they endure the adverse times that really make them great. Will you become a recluse? OR will you rebound and come back better, stronger, and healthier – emotionally and physically? That choice is yours, too. In this time, seek spiritual guidance . . . be alone with your family. Mediate. Go through the process – feel each emotion in the process, too. Understand why and how you got here. Know and learn to control how not to get here again. This is a test. This test can lead you into darkness or, if you go through the process, propel you into a place of greatness. Perhaps this is a great time for you to get help, then create programs for males who have been abused or are abusers.
  4. Don’t fall into self-pity. You made a mistake. We all have. Reflect. Refuel. Reconnect. When you decide to re-enter the national scene. Do it slowly. Take this year to work on yourself. In working on yourself, your true gifts will manifest.

This isn’t written to absolve any of the social ills of Domestic Violence. I think far too many people have focused on the hitting, not the healing. Everyone is commenting on the video, but not the soul of the people in the video. This may not be a long list, or one that delves deeply into the how/who/what, but it provides a brief plan to follow. I think steps 1-4 will lead to more steps. This is a personal path. In the African American community, we all too often get great joy in demonizing our once heroes. We know suicide exists. Sometimes we forget how impactful things can be to others. This is a sensitive time. Don’t let this one moment frame your entire existence.

. . .As Free as I Wanna Be . . .
Goal D Locs


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