A View of The American Football Player, Ray Rice’s Public Expression of Regret

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About this sample


Words: 1435 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 1435|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Ray Rice: Sincere or Not?

Ray Rice, a former well-known American football player, did the unthinkable to his then fiancée. In February of 2014, he physically assaulted her on an elevator and the entire thing was caught on camera. Several videos quickly surfaced, showing the whole situation to the public. While the videos were getting a lot of attention, many fans, family members, etc. were understandably disgusted with Rice’s actions. Soon after the videos went viral, he was arrested for physical assault. However, he was quickly released since the assault seemed to not be too extreme. Later that year, he apologized to a large audience with his wife by his side. While he spoke, he continuously claimed he was sorry and explained how he was going to improve himself, his relationship with his wife, and the community. Although he tried to sound and look as sincere as possible, even tearing up at a few points while he spoke, his wife expressed negative body language. She didn’t seem comfortable while she listened to her husband speak. During the entire apology, she rarely looked at her husband. Based on her reaction, it seems as if she thinks that Ray was faking his sincerity the entire time. Based on several reasons, I believe he failed at being rhetorical. In this Rhetorical Analysis, I examine whether or not Rice was sincere during the whole time he was speaking and explain how he was ineffective. The five areas I’m going to explain are ethos, pathos, logos, appeals and aesthetics. However, I’m going to mainly focus on ethos, pathos, and logos because those are the main three that are shown several times in Rice’s public apology.

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The former football players reason for his apology is to, quote, “have you believe in me again”. Rice wanted his career to go on in a positive manner, but since he was receiving so much criticism, it would be hard for him. Along with that, he wanted to have everyone see him as, quote, “the same Ray Rice you all used to know”. In order to try and improve his situation, he tried to use the appeal method towards his audience. He wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he truly loved and cared for his family, said that he was going to help the community, and said that his fans, sponsors, and so on were dearly important to him. Those certain things could possibly change the audience’s idea of him because those certain acts/words are considered selfless and kind. Trying to save his reputation, he continuously said things that made him sound like an extremely loving, caring individual. Although, I believe that’s not the case. Even though he said he’s going to do such positive things doesn’t mean that he’s actually going to do them. I strongly believe that Rice was simply saying those things so the audience could gain respect for him again.

During the apology, he used logos several times using logic and reasoning. Towards the beginning of the apology, he explained how he was trying to help both him and his wife with the use of counseling. Along with that, he said he made a mistake. He claimed that making a mistake is something that happens to everyone, therefore they should try to be more open-minded and think about forgiving him. Rice continuously said that he regrets everything he did, and that he would go back in time to fix everything if there was a possibility. Finally, throughout the whole apology, he complimented his relationship with his wife. Ray Rice said that they’ve grown together, they have a lot of love for each other still, and that they’re working on their problems together like what a couple should do. Although that sounds more positive than negative, he’s making sure everyone knows that it’s a joint thing that both individuals need to fix. Even though he’s the one that physically assaulted his significant other, he’s saying that it’s something they both need to work on so it doesn’t happen again. However, He didn’t do a good job at this because he constantly said that it was something both he and his wife had to work on. Rice was the one who physically assaulted his wife. A much more logical thing to say would be him explaining how it was something he had to work on. The entire situation was his fault. If he didn’t assault his wife, he wouldn’t have lost respectful from his fans, family, and so on.

Along with logos, he used pathos several times by trying to get the audience to feel pity towards him. Throughout the entire apology, he sounded extremely sincere. To add onto the sincerity, he teared up a few times while he was speaking. Rice allowed himself to show emotion while in front of a large audience, which, to some people, may make them really believe that he’s telling nothing but the truth. He said he made a mistake and that he felt terrible. At the end of the day, he wants him and his wife to be happy and supported by others. At the end of the apology, even his wife helped out with this situation. She told him that she loved Ray, which could’ve made the audience really feel like the love the couple has for each other is much stronger than they previously thought. However, based on how she was reacting throughout the whole time, I believe Rice failed miserably. Based on how uncomfortable his wife was shows that something was wrong. Although he did do a good job on one thing, which was actually showing sadness, he mainly failed.

During the apology, he used several things related to ethos by relating to the community. He told everyone that he was going to do what he could to better the community. When it came to explaining his feelings about his job, he said that he loved it and was hoping to continue without much criticism. After claiming that he was the same Rice they all knew and loved, he continued apologizing for his actions and tried as hard as he could to sound as sincere as he possibility could. Although he tried to sound sincere, I highly believe he was lying. Saying what he said about the community would, obviously, make the audience form more respect towards him. Rice, however, was saying those things so he could gain some respect and trust.

Although there were some positive things shown in this apology, there were also many flaws. That leads us to the “aesthetics”. Throughout the whole time Ray Rice was speaking, his wife didn’t seem comfortable. She looked as if she didn’t think he was being honest, and her body language expressed that she wasn’t okay with what was being said. However, she chose not to say anything, possibly due to being scared of getting assaulted again. Along with that, she didn’t look at her husband. That seems to be a negative sign—usually, if you’re upset with your partner and don’t want to talk things out or listen to them, you don’t look at them. Based on her actions and her facial expressions, she seemed to be upset with her husband. Besides his wife looking upset, Ray Rice kept stumbling on his words. Even though his word choice wasn’t too strong or big, he ended up messing up several times. It also showed that he looked down at his phone a lot, so he could’ve been reading a script. Sure, a script can be good at times, but in this situation, it seems like it was created by someone other than him. I can see that based on how he’s stumbling a lot and how his wife looks at him with unhappy expressions. Even though he ended up tearing up while speaking, only he (and possibly his wife) will truly know whether or not he was genuine or not.

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At the end of this analysis, I concluded that Ray Rice wasn’t being sincere in his apology. He stumbled a lot while speaking, and kept looking down at his phone. Besides him dropping hints about some possible lying, his wife’s reaction to the whole thing was negative. Not once did she glance at her husband. She rarely spoke and, just about whenever she did, it was something positive directed at her husband. Because of that, it seems as if Ray Rice wasn’t sincere and had his wife there to try and have the audience believe that they were truly a happy and loving couple.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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A View of the American Football Player, Ray Rice’s Public Expression of Regret. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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A View of the American Football Player, Ray Rice’s Public Expression of Regret. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
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