Ray Rice

Rice, a second-round pick out of Rutgers in 2008, quickly became one of the NFL’s best running backs. He made three Pro Bowls for the Baltimore Ravens (2009, 2011, 2012), rushed for more than 1,100 yards and five touchdowns from 2009-12 and helped the team win Super Bowl XLVII.

But in March 2014, Rice got arrested for assaulting his fiancée. TMZ then released disturbing security footage of Rice punching her in an elevator, then dragging her unconscious body. The NFL initially suspended Rice for two games, but public pressure eventually led to a longer suspension.

Rice eventually married the woman, Janay Palmer, but he never played another NFL game, despite being 28 years old at the time of the suspension. The entire episode sparked wide-ranging discussion about violence against women, the NFL’s attitude toward punishing its players and in some ways served as a precursor to the #MeToo movement.

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