Not everyone backed away from Ray Rice at first.
After video came out yesterday of the star NFL player knocking his then-girlfriend Janay Palmer unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February, Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens, suspended indefinitely by the NFL and lost his endorsement deal with Nike. But Carbiz, a used-car dealership in Baltimore, initially wouldn't say if it was cutting Rice loose.
A manager at the Baltimore used car dealership refused to tell The Daily Beast if the company was ending their relationship with the disgraced football player. She simply said “we’re not commenting” and refused to answer a yes or no question before quickly hanging up the phone.
In February, immediately following Rice’s arrest for assaulting his wife in the incident, Carbiz owner Evan Berney told the Baltimore Business Journal that footage of Rice dragging his unconscious wife from the elevator wasn’t conclusive. You certainly can’t develop the entire sequence of events based on that video… It’s really impossible to look at that video and determine what had happened that night.” Berney then went on to say that he considered the former Baltimore Raven to be “a model citizen and a role model.”
Rice has appeared in several local Baltimore commercials for Carbiz, including one where he proclaims that Carbiz “makes you feel good.” In another commercial, Rice proudly said “At Carbiz, you’re always protected with a one year warranty.” But that warranty didn't protect Rice's endorsement deal with the used car dealer after the security footage from the elevator was released.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Carbiz owner Evan Berney told The Daily Beast that "there is no business relationship" between his company and Rice any longer. He said that the decision was made yesterday to end the former Baltimore Raven's endorsement deal. Berney said "[Rice] was no longer an NFL football player and in addition to the video and everything else, it seemed appropriate that he no longer be a spokesman for us."