Terry Crews knows a thing or two about comedy as Sergeant Terry Jeffords on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but ask him about the Ray Rice situation and it’s no laughing matter.
“When I saw the video I was immediately taken back to my childhood,” the 46-year-old actor and former pro-football player told Kevin Frazier of “Entertainment Tonight.”
Crews was referring to the video that surfaced on TMZ Monday, showing Rice knocking out his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, now the suspended running back’s wife.
“This is the way I grew up,” Crews confessed. “I used to watch this happen over and over again. It was a posttraumatic 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,'” he added.
Rice, cut by the Balitmore Ravens, has since been suspended indefinitely from the NFL for his actions since the video went public. Initially he was only suspended for two games as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted the league never saw the full video until Monday when it was released. A law enforcement source claims the NFL received the brutal footage five months ago.
“The NFL culture, the sports culture, has decided that they are more valuable than women,” Crews said.
“I’ve heard people laugh about keeping their pimp hand strong and keeping her in control so that she knows her place,” he continued. “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 you’re worth is immeasurable.”
Crews’ passionate stance against domestic violence as an adult was the direct result of the negative impact it made on his as a child, yet he’s still met with criticism.
“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,'” he told Frazier. “This is the mentality I’m talking about, the challenge, the male pride.”
Despite the haters, Crews isn’t swayed from getting his message out.
“Pride is a thing that kills you,” he said. “Male pride is so tough that they feel … ‘Oh you know what, I got to hit her. I got to lash out.'”
The ET host turned the tables, mentioning Palmer’s defense of her husband and it’s something Crews is very familiar with.
“My mother is still with my father,” he said.
“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,” he stated.
“It is way too quick to call it a wonderful life now,” he went on. “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.”
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