Wide receiver Torrey Smith has made strides in filling that void, and he took another step Thursday when he helped organize teammates to show support for Ray Rice and attend the running back's news conference. About 30 teammates stood behind reporters to watch Rice talk to reporters about his alleged domestic violence incident.
"It's very easy for people to turn their backs on you, and you just flat-out don't do that to family," Smith said. "That's the way we look at it. A lot of people out here are like, 'Oh, you guys are standing up for violence.' No, we're not. We're supporting him. We don't condone his actions, but we're supporting him."
Smith has been a vocal supporter of Rice ever since he was arrested in February. Smith and his wife are friends with Rice and his wife Janay.
"He needs our help now more than ever," Smith said. "To be at your lowest of lows in front of the world, not just your house, that's something I feel like you need a lot of support to handle. He's never been in that situation. He's been a stand-up guy except for 30 seconds, like he kept saying. He can't take that back, but we can help him going forward."
On Thursday, Rice apologized to his wife and all women affected by domestic violence. While Rice declined twice to give details about what happened in the Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator, he said it was a "one-time incident" and expressed his intentions to become an "ambassador" against domestic violence.
"He did as well as he could have," Smith said of the news conference. "It was a personal incident, but you have to explain your situation to the world. It's not the easiest thing to do. I stand by that guy."