Broncos’ Terrance Knighton voices disgust with Ray Rice, calls on NFL brethren to do same

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton speaks with the media after a training camp practice in August 2014.

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UPDATE: Ray Rice has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens and issued an indefinite suspension by the NFL following the public release of this video.

DENVER — Terrance Knighton was disgusted about new surveillance footage that emerged Monday, showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an Atlantic City elevator.

The Denver Broncos defensive tackle didn’t wait for a ruling from the NFL Players Union before speaking up, and he hopes others will follow his lead.

Though Knighton has never been shy about voicing his opinion, it’s somewhat rare for a professional athlete to break ranks the way he did on Monday.

Baseball players were infamously mum when it came to the issue of steroid usage among teammates.  When Jonathan Martin spoke out about the torment he experienced in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room, he was ostracized as a snitch.

When referring to Rice’s elevator incident earlier this year, a great deal of NFL players, coaches and executives added the caveats like “he’s a great guy who made a mistake” or “let’s not forget the role his then-fiance (now wife) Janay Palmer played in this.”

Knighton offered no such caveats on Monday.

In fact, Knighton didn’t just criticize Rice’s actions, he issued several calls to action in a slew of tweets.

Knighton went on to mention how loud NFL players have been in recent years when expressing opinions on how they believe they have been mistreated.

Former NFL players have led a crusade against the league over lacking concussion protocols that led to lifelong health issues. During a recent NFL labor dispute, star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said players were treated like “modern-day slaves” by team owners.

In both of situations, players fought tooth and nail for their beliefs with varying degrees of success. The fact that players have seemed hesitant to lend their voices a victim of domestic violence seems more than a little troubling to Knighton.

Since Knighton’s tweets earlier in the morning, fellow Bronco Chris Harris has spoken up, as well.

And interestingly enough, a pair of former Broncos seem to have been among the most vocal current NFL players about Rice’s actions and the punishment he had received as of Monday morning from the NFL and legal system.

As of Monday morning, Rice had received a two-game suspension from the NFL, which insisted it hadn’t seen the elevator video before issuing the suspension before the video was leaked by TMZ to the general public. The legal system, meanwhile, refrained from issuing Rice any jail time, and has even given him the opportunity to have all charges erased from his record if he completes a treatment program.

Former Broncos safety Duke Ihenacho seemed most disappointed in the legal system.

Former Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn had some suggestions about NFL punishments for any player convicted of domestic violence in the future.

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