Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was public enemy number one in Pittsburgh after taking a Terrible Towel following the team’s win over the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Steelers fans saw Rice’s move as a sign of disrespect to the towel which has been an iconic symbol that is related to the team.
It may have appeared to be disrespectful on the surface, but Rice wanted to clear the air on the situation.
Rice exchanged the gloves he wore during the game with a Steelers fan in exchange for the Terrible Towel. He wanted it to add his collection of memorabilia that he is beginning to build in honor of his NFL career. He wanted a towel to add to the collection to help commemorate the most important rivalry in his career.
“I apologize to those who saw it as disrespectful. For me, I thought it was a pretty cool gesture, exchanging my gloves with a fan and walking out with it. Obviously, getting a victory there was cool and I leave it in the past. Their fans are great, the organization is great and the rivalry is always going to continue to be great,” Rice said, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
“To have something in your basement to know what the rivalry is all about is pretty cool. I’ve been exchanging jerseys with guys. My basement is geting pretty colorful down there with other teams’ stuff. [Having the towel was] not maliciously, just more out of respect.”
Many athletes build collections of memorabilia and it appears that Rice is just adding to his.
Steelers fans should respect the man gathering items to commemorate his career in the league. Your playing career doesn’t last forever, so you always should have little mementos to remember the time you were out playing the game you love.