Tone-Deaf ESPN Reporter Asked Ray Rice What His Wife’s Words of Encouragement Were

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 07: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens looses his helmet after being tackled by strong safety Antoine Bethea #24 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL pre-season game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 7, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Running back Ray Rice
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Obviously caught up in the excitement of the big-time exhibition football game, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio waded into treacherous waters during his pregame interview with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice Thursday.

Rice will miss the first two games of the NFL season after the league handed down a two-game suspension for an incident in which he allegedly slugged his wife in a casino elevator. It was under those circumstances that Paolantonio thought it would be a good idea to ask whether Rice’s wife, Janay, gave him some kind of pep talk before a game that doesn’t count.

“What did your wife say to you in final words of encouragement before you took the field?”Paolantonio asked.

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Rice responded, “She always wishes me luck. And she always just says, ‘Go out there and do your job.’ That’s one thing on the football field, is that, it is my job. But this is the way I get to take care of my family. Everything that we’ve been through, that’s just something you can’t take for granted. So it was a blessing to be out here, and to get off the field healthy, but at the same time it was a great day at work.”

As one commenter on Deadspin put it, “Good thing Erin Andrews wasn’t there. She probably would have totally blown that hard-hitting question.”

h/t Deadspin