Witten On Rice Issue: "Domestic Violence Is Real"


IRVING, Texas – For Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, his ultimate focus is coming home from Sunday's game with the Titans with his team sitting at 1-1.

Going back to play in his home state of Tennessee for just the second time in his career is something on his plate. And as the player rep for the NFLPA, he's got an upcoming vote for a possible new drug policy, which could affect the status of suspended players for this Sunday.

And of course, there's the Ray Rice situation.

It's obviously not something that affects the Cowboys-Titans game this Sunday, but Witten said it's an issue that all players must be cognizant of, not just as players, but members of society.

"It's disappointing to see. I don't know all that happened, but I did see the video," Witten said of the latest revealed tape of Rice, who is seen striking his then-fiancé in an elevator. "Obviously it's unacceptable. Not only in the NFL as professional athletes, but as men in this world. We're all accountable for our actions and how we handle ourselves in this setting. There's no question you're a role model."

Rice's contract was officially terminated by the Ravens after the tapes surfaced this week. Initially, security cameras from outside the elevator showed Rice dragging her out into a lobby area. The NFL suspended Rice for two games, but then came back and said future incidents will result in a six-game ban.

But all of that was before the new video popped up. Witten said he wasn't comfortable talking about the process the NFL went into to require that second tape. [embedded_ad]

"Somewhere the ball was dropped," he said. "But I'm hesitant to comment on it because I don't know who got what and how it all went down. There's no question what Ray did is unacceptable."

Witten, who grew up in a home where reported domestic violence was prevalent, wanted to stress the biggest issue remains with the actual footage on the tape, and not the process in acquiring it.

"For somebody that's an advocate for (stopping) domestic violence … seeing that video, it was disappointing to see," Witten said. "More than anything, domestic violence is real and something that goes on and is frequent. I think a lot of athletes do a good job with that. We don't know what happened there, but from what we see, obviously it's disappointing."

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