KC Chiefs’ Rashee Rice’s talent no pass after Dallas crash


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Aug 19, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) looks on against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

He deserves the benefit of the doubt, but horrifying video of the wreck should serve as a wake-up call.

USA Today Sports file photo

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice is fortunate. It’s truly a miracle no one was seriously injured or killed in a six-vehicle wreck over the weekend in Dallas involving two luxury sports cars with papers in his name, as Dallas’ NBC 5 reports.

In coming days, more details will emerge about Rice’s connection to the crash. There’s a question as to whether he was even driving the Corvette that was apparently racing with a Lamborghini on a Texas interstate.

But Dallas Police Department officers were searching for the Kansas City wide receiver for a reason. And the first-year player out of Southern Methodist University reportedly hired a lawyer in the immediate aftermath of the wreck.

In a statement released Monday, Rice’s attorney Royce West — also a Texas state senator — said the Chiefs player is cooperating with police investigating the incident.

“On behalf of Rashee Rice, his thoughts are with everyone impacted by the automobile accident on Saturday,” West said. “Rashee is cooperating with local authorities and will take all necessary steps to address this situation responsibly.”

In this case, guilt by association is plausible. But the situation could be so much worse.

When I learned of Rice’s connection to the crash, my immediate thoughts were of the four people injured. Then I couldn’t help but think of former Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III, a first round pick from Alabama in 2020.

Ruggs no longer plays football in the NFL. He ruined his promising career by driving a sports car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He is serving time behind bars for killing a woman and her dog in a fiery crash three years ago. Excessive speed was a factor, according to reports.

Ruggs was paid a $9 million signing bonus when he signed a four-year rookie contract worth more than $16 million. He now works in a Nevada prison for $2.50 per hour.

Until we know more, Rice certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt here. I watched a brief video clip of the alleged drag race involving his car. What I viewed was horrifying. Cars traveling at a high rate of speed careening off retainer walls on the highway or striking other vehicles doesn’t always end well.

Earlier Monday, I reached out to a spokesman for the Chiefs. I wanted to know if head coach Andy Reid or club president Mark Donovan had been in touch with Rice.

“Does the club know to what extent he was involved in a reported crash in Dallas?” I wrote in an email. “And is he OK?”

I was referred to comments Donovan made on KCMO talk radio in Kansas City that morning.

“In all these situations you have to wait until you have all the facts and frankly, we don’t have all the facts at this point,” Donovan told host Pete Mundo. “The one comforting fact that we do have is that there was a multi-car crash … and fortunately, it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt and we should be grateful for that. We’ll get to the bottom of it. We’ll gather the facts and we’ll react accordingly.”

People were injured though, including a young child, according to reports.

Rice is a potential millionaire. He cannot afford to be entangled in this legal mess.

Rice is just 23 years old. He must use this incident as a wake-up call. There is too much at stake for the young man and the organization. Playing pro ball is a privilege not afforded to everyone who suits up. Besides, the Chiefs selected Rice in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft for a reason: The kid has skills.

In this scenario, no amount of talent can excuse the alleged behavior exhibited on the video footage I’ve seen.

This story was originally published April 2, 2024, 5:06 AM.

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Toriano Porter is an opinion writer and member of The Star’s editorial board. He’s received statewide, regional and national recognition for reporting since joining McClatchy in 2012.

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