In NFL Characters Unite, Ray meets 12-year-old Malachi, who, like Ray, lost his father to gun violence and has been experiencing verbal and physical abuse from bullies since he moved to Baltimore. Ray wants to help Malachi find the strength and courage to overcome the challenges he has faced and inspire him to focus instead on his passion for acting. Ray invites Malachi to be his special guest at his foundation's event that brings together thousands of kids in the Baltimore community to pledge support to stop and prevent bullying. At the rally, Ray shows Malachi that he is not alone and surprises him by introducing him to two actors -- Erik Martinez and Quinton Aaron, who played Baltimore Raven Michael Oher in "The Blind Side." Together, they will help give Malachi new opportunities to study acting in a safe environment and encourage him to Never Say Never to his dream.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice experienced many challenges growing up in New Rochelle, NY. His father was killed during a shooting when Ray was 1 year old, and he and his family struggled after his death to fend for themselves and make ends meet. He was picked on as a child for little things like wearing hand-me-downs and not having the latest sneakers. As he got older, the taunting affected him more deeply. He was constantly told he was too short and not strong enough to play college or professional football. At times, he was so distraught that he locked himself in his room in tears. But ultimately he decided to use the pain he felt as motivation to prove the doubters and bullies wrong and to make it to the NFL. Recently, after seeing his younger sister also endure bullying at her school and reading about the tragic suicide of Maryland teen Grace McComas, who had been relentlessly cyber-bullied, he was inspired to speak out and try to make a difference. He started his own foundation to help raise awareness and stop the bullying that he believes has become an epidemic.