Locker Room Lessons is a weekly series here at The MOB Society meant to help moms connect their sons’ love of sports with lessons on life and faith.
You can’t watch even an hour of football this week without hearing about Ray Rice. If your boys are watching any sports TV, his name will probably be mentioned, and if they are like my boys, when they hear a name enough times, they want to know why everyone is talking about that person. So today we’re talking about Ray Rice.

Locker Room Lessons Ray Rice

Who is Ray Rice?

Rice is a professional football player who plays running back for the Baltimore Ravens. This past March, he was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated assault for punching his fiancee in the face and knocking her unconscious. A video of the incident was released to the media, creating public outcry and a change in the NFL policy on players involved in domestic abuse.

This September, after more video footage of the abuse was released, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL indefinitely suspended Rice. He is currently appealing this suspension.

Domestic abuse among high profile athletes is not a new thing. The media has unprecedented access to the details of this case so we are hearing more about it than ever before. That means our boys are hearing about it as well. Here are a few topics you can touch on with your sons if {or when} the subject of Ray Rice comes up. My husband and I have discussed these as ways to talk about the topic with our boys – eight and six – if they should ask.

Respect for Women – Ray Rice punched his fiancee, who is now his wife, in the face and knocked her out. While we want our boys to know that it is NEVER acceptable to hit a woman, we want to emphasize the importance of showing respect to women at any age; not hitting, punching, pushing, and so much more. Use this opportunity to talk about respect and honor particularly as it relates to the women in your sons’ lives.

Fame Doesn’t Give You a Free Pass – Unfortunately, a lot of famous people do things they shouldn’t because they think they’re untouchable. This situation is an example for our boys that being rich, famous, and talented doesn’t protect you from facing the consequences of bad decisions.

What We Do in Secret is Still Seen by God – Many bad choices are made when we think no one is looking. In the case of Ray Rice, the abuse took place in an elevator at a casino. Even though no one else was around, casino cameras caught everything. True character is revealed when no one is watching. Even thought there won’t always be cameras present, God is always with us.

From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
    all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
    who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15

It Doesn’t Matter Who is Watching – all of our choices should be made with the purpose of loving and honoring God. Whether no one is watching or you are on live TV–good choices are good choices.

There are many more lessons that could come out of this Ray Rice incident, but the important thing is to consider the age and maturity of your son before getting in to these conversations. Make a game plan BEFORE he asks about it and be willing to answer questions honestly, but in an age/maturity appropriate manner.

Has your son asked about Ray Rice? What has the discussion been like?

Erin MohringErin finds joy in her life as a Jesus-follower, doctor’s wife, mama to three handsome guys, writer at Home with the Boys, and co-founder of The MOB Society. She has a passion for healthy living, fashion, and encouraging families to form strong bonds based on faith!