COLUMBIA, Md. - He's #27 on the football field, but #1 in the game of life, according to fans who spent their Friday night with Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Rice knows how to engage a crowd and throw out an important message to stop the bullying.
"Some of these kids look at me like a role model," said Rice.
So he's using his role and leaning on his past when he says he dealt with adversity and poverty. He even spoke about his younger sister who was picked on in 8th grade and how he set his mom straight.
"The girl threw a rock and hit her in the eye. The first thing my mom was telling me she wanted to let my sister go take care of business. You know what, you take care of her one time maybe she won't bother you no more. I told my mom that's not the right thing to do," said Rice.
Rice encourages parents and their kids to report not retaliate. Speaking of family, he wrapped his arms around the parents and sisters of Grace McComas, who at just 15 years old committed suicide on Easter Sunday.
"To say I hope you die and go kill yourself is sad to my sister. You can't get away from that," said Megan McComas, Grace’s sister.
Her family says the Glenelg High School student was bulled online for about a year. They knew and reported to police and the school.
"Take it seriously. Don't expect them to ignore it in that it will go away because immediately early on it was oh just don't pay any attention," said Christine McComas, Grace’s mom.
Grace's parents want to change the protocol in schools so the victim doesn't have to fill out a bullying form and fear retaliation. The family will continue to stand next to the man who's running with his message.
"If you feel like you're in that dark cloud, you gotta speak up cause the only hope to recovery is admitting something is wrong," said Rice.
Rice plans to continue his anti-bullying message with other public events.
The parents of Grace McComas say their story is not over. They want to help change the world of bullying and there is an ongoing criminal investigation into their daughter's death.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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