Real life intersected with football today -- as it has all week throughout the NFL.
Pete Carroll talked in a Seahawks team meeting today about the Ray Rice domestic-violence case, and how huge and impacting the issue is in our society.
Seattle's coach then said he is changed forever, both personally and in the way he will evaluate and talk to players from now on.
"It will never be the same," Carroll said during his weekly Wednesday press conference here in Renton. "I've got to admit, my awareness is different than it was and I don't think it will ever be the same as it was. I'm glad that I can say that. Hopefully we can prevent, we can head off any issue that could come up in the future."
I should note the fact the Seahawks had on their payroll until this month a player, cornerback A.J. Jefferson with whom they reached an injury settlement following an ankle injury, who was released last year by Minnesota following his arrest on a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation was mentioned to Carroll in the question to Carroll about how he handles evaluating players in the wake of the Rice case. In March, Jefferson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic assault in the 2013 case, according to Minneapolis' WCCO. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended to three days times served.
Richard Sherman, the team's new player representative for the league's union, confirmed Carroll spoke to the players about the Rice case, to keep awareness of domestic violence high around the franchise.
"I talked to the team about it today. I talked about the serious nature of it," Carroll said. "It's an extremely serious situation. We made them aware that we will help them in any way we can if they are in a situation where they feel uncomfortable and (if) they have concerns about it.
"We will try to elevate their awareness as we go, and hopefully -- unfortunately, after such a serious incident -- generally our awareness will grow," Carroll said. "We will be better off because of it. And we will all think differently. It's unfortunate that we've had to learn that we. For people that have been involved with that, our hearts go out to them, and the depth of their pain. Hopefully we will just do better, and our players will be better for it.
"Hopefully, the process and visibility will bring an awareness throughout our society. We need to take care of one another better and we need to respond accordingly."