After months of speculation as to when fallen-from-grace former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was going to speak openly about his controversial year, we have an answer. Just as Rice won his appeal to return to his day job as a star running back, NBC announced that Today co-host Matt Lauer landed the first coveted interview with the NFL star and his wife Janay. The interview with the stalwart Lauer is set to air in two parts on Monday December 1st and Tuesday December 2nd.
The sit-down with Lauer is going to be the first time the NFL star and his wife come together to disclose information about the incident that rocked the sports nation earlier this year, and again in September. According to THR, there will also be one-on-one interactions in the interview as well as the segments when the couple are on camera together. Janay did give ESPN an interview previously, but they weren't allowed to use any audio, making Today's exclusivity a pretty big thing for the troubled show.
Check out the promo for the interview below.
After the full security video of the incident made its way online at the beginning of the NFL season via TMZ, the league was caught in a maelstrom of a controversy forcing their hand to try and reconstruct their players' personal conduct policy. The video spoke volumes about the brutality of the incident and soon it was everywhere. It is still unclear how much the NFL knew about the incident and when. The uproar that was caused nationwide was enough to really make waves on changing the NFL’s lax policy on personal conduct off the field. While off the field deplorable behavior of NFL players is nothing new, the Ray Rice video of Janay being knocked out struck a chord around the world causing a massive chain reaction calling for stiff penalties for Rice. You probably also noticed those NoMore.org commercials with NFL players as spokesmen in an attempt to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
The coverage of the Rice incident was nothing short of viral; it was everywhere you looked, clogging up airwaves and ear-waves. However, after Friday’s exoneration of Rice by the league, which allows him to at least try to get back to work, the NFL now has to worry about whether or not its sending a bad message. Even if no team ends up picking him up, it's still going to make the NFL look different in a lot of people's eyes. What exactly will it take for a suspension to last an entire season, no questions asked?
Clearly the reception for Rice will be icy at best if he returns to the field, especially considering how many women attend live football games. Let's see how the interview with Lauer is received first. It may take a lot more than that to regain the respect of football fans the world over.
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