Now that everybody knows exactly what Ray Rice did in that elevator, some are taking a firm stance against domestic violence. The best example? The owners of a Baltimore pizzeria are allowing customers to trade in their Ray Rice jerseys for pizza. Hersh's Pizza and Drinks will also donate money to a battered-women organization for each jersey collected. It's a brilliant — and charitable — way of condemning the Rice incident, while starting a very necessary conversation about domestic abuse.
Stephanie and Josh Hershkovitz, the brother and sister duo who own Hersh's Pizza, posted on the pizzeria's Facebook page on Monday:
Dear Lovers of Women, Not Hitting Women, Non Violence and Just Generally Being a Good Person,
Come trade your Ray Rice Ravens Jersey in for a free pizza at Hersh's. These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week.
The post went up Monday — before the owners had even heard the news that the Ravens were cutting Rice and that the NFL had suspended Rice indefinitely. This suggests that the owners were taking a stance from their hearts, not contingent on any official decision.
Stephanie told the Baltimore Business Journal that it was an opportunity to "express their disgust" over Rice's actions, and it gave their customers a way to make a statement as well.
Besides the already charitable jerseys-for-pizza tradeoff, Stephanie and Josh will donate $2.70 to the House of Ruth Maryland for every jersey collected. The $2.70 is a reference to Rice's former Ravens jersey number, 27.
The House of Ruth describes itself on its site as "one of the nation's leading intimate partner violence centers," and has been working directly with the Baltimore Ravens. The organization announced a three-year community partnership with the football team last month to help raise awareness of intimate partner violence. Given this partnership, I wonder what the team thinks about Hersh's campaign. I bet they have a ton of No. 27 jerseys to donate.
As for what the pizza shop will do with all those purple-and-white shirts? They're still taking suggestions:
Suggestions for what to do with all the Ray Rice jerseys we collect, since there are only so many we can use for toilet paper? Let us know!
And while Hersh's domestic-violence-related campaign is commendable, another pizza company was a little — or a lot — less successful. On Monday night, following the released footage of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée Janay in the Atlantic City elevator, the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhenILeft started trending on Twitter as a way for users to join the important domestic violence discourse. However, DiGiorno Pizza, makers of those frozen pizzas that very few people have mistaken for delivery, capitalized on the hashtag in haste. They tweeted this:
Yup, they used a hashtag about domestic violence to praise pizza, presumably their pizza.
So what's the lesson here? Donating pizza to raise awareness for domestic abuse is good. Using domestic abuse hashtags without researching them first, not so good.
Image: Tamas Repus/Flickr, Getty Images (1)