EXCLUSIVE: Terry Crews Talks Ray Rice and His Own Experiences With Domestic Violence
ET's Kevin Frazier sat down with Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and former NFL player Terry Crews to get his reaction to the Ray Rice video.
Video surfaced Monday on TMZ of the alleged moment that Rice punched his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer Rice in the face, knocking her unconscious. The new Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host, who has publicly spoken about his father physically abusing his mother during his childhood, said the incident brought back personal memories of growing up.
"When I saw the video I was immediately taken back to my childhood," Crews, 46, said. "This is the way I grew up. I used to watch this happen over and over again. It was a post-traumatic stress experience for me. I used to watch my father hit my mother in the face and watch her go down and there was some things that just affected me more than I don't think anyone could realize."
Since the video was made public, Rice has been terminated by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended by the NFL indefinitely but Crews points out that there is a problem with sports culture at large.
"The NFL culture, the sports culture, has decided that they are more valuable than women," Crews believes. "I've heard people laugh about keeping their pimp hand strong and keeping her in control so that she knows her place. But think about how evil that is for one man to think that he's actually more valuable than a woman, because as a human being your worth is immeasurable."
And even when Crews takes a stand against domestic violence, he is met with negative comments.
"Because of my stance on domestic violence and standing [up] for women I have tons of men coming at me like 'You are a punk, you are a punk, look at you, get your skirt and go pop your pecks somewhere'…This is the mentality I'm talking about, the challenge, the male pride…Pride is a thing that kills you…Male pride is so tough that they feel that any time a woman back talks it's they'd rather die than stand for that, than actually have a women tell them what's up and then they would say, 'Ok you know what, I got to hit her. I got to lash out.'"
Rice's now wife Janay has also faced criticism for defending her husband. In a post to her Instagram page she chastised media outlets for reporting on the event, writing:
"No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options [sic] from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific ... THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don't you all get? If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!"
"My mother is still with my father," Crews said when asked about Janay's comments. "There were times where I wanted her to go, and I wanted her to leave…I'm not saying that [Ray and Janay] could never overcome all of these problems, because it is possible, but I am saying that [Janay] needs real help. It is way too quick to call it a wonderful life now. There's got to be tons more healing, tons more counseling, before anyone can claim victory in his position and so it's really bad."