Paul George Defends Ray Rice, Then Apologizes

Both the Pacers star and Larry Bird released statements on the heels of his tweeted comments.

It seems an injured Paul George has unfortunately idle hands. In the wake of the domestic-violence debacle that pro-football player Ray Rice, his wife Janay Palmer Rice, and the NFL are reeling from in different ways, the Indiana Pacers star took to Twitter this morning to defend Rice against his recent media storm and suspension from competing in the league. Among George’s statements: “let that man play!”
PaulGeorgetweet2George deleted those tweets within the hour, and posted again to the social medium to express remorse:

He and Pacers’ president of basketball operations, Larry Bird, released joint statements today as well.
Bird: “Paul George’s tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society. We have talked to Paul to strongly express our displeasure and made it clear that the NBA and the Pacers’ organization will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature. Paul understands that he was wrong and why his tweets were so inappropriate and is very apologetic.”
George: “I want to apologize to all victims of domestic abuse for my insensitive tweets. They were obviously without proper understanding of the seriousness of the situation and I sincerely regret my poor choice of words.”‎
Despite calls to do so from some current and former NFL players and other sports and social leaders, commissioner Roger Goodell has not yet banned Rice from playing in the league again. The Baltimore Ravens did drop him from their organization after a second, even more clear video surfaced that showed him punching Palmer Rice, then his girlfriend, in the face, rendering her unconscious. The likes of former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, an NFL free agent, have spoken out in favor of removing him from play permanently:

Screenshots of Paul George’s deleted tweets via