Actress and domestic violence activist Robin Givens told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday that she is “not surprised” by the Baltimore Ravens fans showing up to Thursday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers wearing their once beloved running back’s jersey after being kicked off the team and banned by the NFL for punching his then-fiancee inside an Atlantic City hotel elevator.
“I wear the jersey in support of Ray Rice because I love Ray Rice. I’m sorry. I don’t believe in abuse but she struck him first and any woman who can hit a man can be hit back,” one female Ravens fan wearing Rice’s jersey told Comcast SportsNet Thursday night.
The ex-wife of boxer Mike Tyson reacted to this statement in an interview Friday:
“I’m not surprised because I’ve heard it. I’ve heard ‘what have you done?’, ‘what did you say to him?’ Stop saying that. Why is it that the victimizer becomes the victim? Why is it that we want to protect these men? What is it about our society? What is it about us as women that feel we need to protect them? “
Givens divorced Tyson in 1989 after alleged violent attacks including being knocked out unconscious in a hotel.
She wrote in a TIME magazine piece this week:
“I remember being dragged down a hallway in a hotel in the Bahamas on a night I thought I was really going to die. Today there would have been cameras in that hall. Someone would know. I would be believed. Now the story gets to tell itself.”
The “Today” show requested comment from the former boxer but he did not respond.
However, Tyson was not shy about showing his volatile temperament when asked questions about his violent history with women earlier this week. He blew up in an expletive-filled rant at a Canadian television anchor on CP24. (RELATED: Mike Tyson Calls Host A ‘Piece Of Sh**’ For Mentioning His Rape Conviction)
A few days earlier on CP24 TV, Tyson explained that the reason for his tough exterior is because he’s “still a frightened kid. I don’t want anyone to see that kid.”
In another interview on Canadian TV this week while on a tour promoting his on-stage one-man show, Tyson dodged questions on Wednesday about Ray Rice by saying, “That’s something I want to — I want to talk about my show. That’s what I’m here to talk about.”
The CTV anchor continued to press Tyson and he responded:
“My opinion doesn’t mean nothing about Mr. Rice and his wife. My opinion has nothing to do with that… I believe everybody deserves a second chance. He wasn’t arrested by the police, the — I don’t know. it’s a complex situation because what happened is really bad and the way everybody dealt with it was pretty much — I don’t know, it goes by to everybody playing God. somebody wants to be God.”
Tyson’s sycophant promoter Al Choko who joined Tyson in the interview with CTV gushed about what a great human being Mike Tyson is:
“I idolized Mike… I start studying more about him, but not the fighter, the human being. He never quit. Whomever is watching can learn from this because if you never quit. Same as in the ring and as in life, if you never quit and always believe in what you want to do, you can achieve something.”
In a report by CBS Sports, several Ravens players rallied around “great guy” Ray Rice and touted that they won Thursday night’s game for Rice:
Torrey Smith, C.J. Mosley and Jacoby Jones were among the players who told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the win was for Rice.
“Ray is still a great guy,” Smith said. “He’s a model man. He made a huge mistake, but he’s still a great person.”
Rice was cut by the Ravens on Monday, just hours after TMZ released a video of the former Baltimore running back punching his wife in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Rice was given an indefinite suspension by the NFL shortly thereafter his release.
“We wanted to get that for Ray,” Mosley said. “He was part of this organization for a long time. He put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it.”