OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice addressed the spitting incident with Phil Taylor for the first time Wednesday, saying nothing was intentionally "projected" toward the Cleveland Browns defensive lineman.
Rice doesn't have the reputation of being that type of player, so you want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't set out to do it. But, as much as Rice wants to put it in the past, allegations of spitting are never taken lightly in the NFL. Players don't forget about these confrontations because it's the ultimate form of disrespect in the league.
Baltimore sports fans should know this because there is a history of such childish behavior and the city. Rice is the third Ravens player to be accused of spitting in the past five seasons.
Let's take a look at Baltimore's past with these unsavory saliva moments ...
On Dec. 14, 2009 against Pittsburgh: Ravens cornerback Frank Walker acknowledged that he spat in the face of Steelers punter Mitch Berger, but the Ravens' backup cornerback called it an accident. "It was just a slobber moment," Walker said. Asked whether he felt bad that the Steelers thought he did it on purpose, Walker said: "I don't care. I hate Pittsburgh."
On Nov. 7, 2010 against Miami: Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder accused Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain of spitting in his face when Crowder walked into the Ravens' huddle to call timeout for the Dolphins. McClain initially denied spitting in Crowder's face but then backpedaled, saying on Twitter after he had seen video of the exchange that if he did spit in Crowder's face it was an accident.
On Sept. 27, 1996: While this didn't involve the Ravens, this incident was a major one in Baltimore's sports history. Called out on strikes in Toronto, the Orioles' Roberto Alomar spits in umpire John Hirschbeck's face and is hit with a five-game suspension. Alomar says the umpire "had become more bitter" after the death of his son in 1993, prompting Hirschbeck to charge the second baseman in the clubhouse before being restrained.