Fans wearing Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens jerseys. AP photo
The two-day Ray Rice jersey exchange started today. And so far it's a success.
Or, from the perspective of the organization taking back Rice jerseys and giving out new ones at no charge, a catastrophe.
Rice was charged with aggravated assault stemming from a February incident with his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in which Rice knocked her unconscious in an Atlantic City, N.J. elevator.
Rice was initially suspended for two games by the NFL, but he was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league after TMZ posted footage of the incident last week. The NFL Players Association is appealing the suspension, and the incident set off a nightmare week for the team and the NFL.
According to the Baltimore Sun, “thousands” of fans lined up outside M&T Bank Stadium to trade a Ray Rice jersey for an “available jersey” of another Ravens player. If the team runs out, vouchers will be provided.
The program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
All jerseys eligible for exchange must be officially licensed by the NFL and manufactured by Nike or Reebok, and they must have been purchased or available for purchase at the M&T Bank Stadium team store or from the team website. Each person can only exchange one jersey, and a league representative will be on hand to verify the authenticity.
Last year, the Patriots offered a jersey exchange after tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder.