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Rice's actions prove that contentious relationships are anything but healthy

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It takes time to build a good reputation, but it only takes one bad decision to destroy it. This always has and always will be true. This is the case of Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice, who up until a few days ago, was considered one of the best guys in the league. He had a great reputation and was admired by fellow players and fans alike. However, one bad night may have tarnished that forever. And if it hasn't tarnished it in the eyes of all, it has definitely given room for reasonable doubt.

Celebrity website TMZ obtained footage of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee from an elevator in a casino hotel. According to reports, she was knocked unconscious by Rice. Although TMZ only has footage of the woman being dragged from the elevator, SI.com is reporting that police have actual footage from inside the elevator where the altercation took place. According to Rice's lawyers, the TMZ footage is accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Considering the fact that Rice appears to be just fine in the video, one has to wonder what the rest of that story could be. A story that ends in a woman being dragged from an elevator unconscious.

To be fair, both Rice and his fiancee were arrested by police for simple battery. That says that it was at least initially determined that this was a fight, not just a man beating a woman. But what's disturbing in this is a man that's either unaware that he's a football player and doesn't know his own strength, or he meant to knock a woman out cold. The third option is that they were both drunk and out of control. Either of these scenarios is a recipe for disaster and all involved should be more in control of themselves.

So, where does this leave us? Unfortunately, on the doorstep of domestic violence again. Such behavior has existed in relationships for years, often under cover. And while domestic violence is a two-way street and men are abused just as women, in cases like this, the question of how long has this been going on comes to mind. People shouldn't be convicted without all of the facts being available, but that video is chilling. Without knowing everything, Rice's actions on the video appear to be horrendous. Couple that with his lawyer's statement, which seems to suggest that knocking her out was justifiable, it all looks bad.

A woman engaged to marry a man should never have the expectation of being knocked out one day. The thinking for any man, particularly one with the strength advantage that a football player has over a woman, should always be to walk away. If you can take a pounding each week from 300 pound men that wish to do you nothing but bodily harm, it would seem that you could take a punch from a woman. It doesn't make it right if she started the altercation, but it shows character to not want to do her serious harm. Character that we were told Rice had.

Lastly, and this can't be stressed enough, there is nothing healthy about volatile relationships. We have a lot of theories and thoughts that arguments in a relationship show that you care. While arguments and disagreements are inevitable and communication during these times is critical, constant bickering and arguing is anything but healthy. If not controlled, it can often lead to physical confrontation. Passion and love should never be confused with domestic violence. Whether provoked or not, if a man ever feels compelled to knock his woman cold, he's in the wrong relationship.

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