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Gallery: Ravens fans still wearing Ray Rice jerseys, abuse survivors offer him support

"Every NFL player deserves a second chance to support their family," said one Ravens fan's sign.

By Matt Bradwell
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Gallery: Ravens fans still wearing Ray Rice jerseys, abuse survivors offer him support
A Baltimore Ravens fan holds up a sign supporting Ray Rice as the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on September 11, 2014. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

BALTIMORE, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Despite Ray Rice's indefinite suspension and seemingly universal condemnation following the release of security footage showing him hitting his then-fiancee, many female Ravens fans say they support the disgraced running back and are keeping their number 27 jerseys.

Many fans at Thursday's home game against the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers wore their Rice jerseys and expressed support for the former star running back.

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"Every NFL player deserves a second chance to support their family," read one fan's sign.

"I don't agree with how they went from a two-game suspension to ending this man's career," domestic abuse survivor and Baltimore Ravens fan LaTonya Jones told USA Today.

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"This is someone's livelihood. He has a family. I don't condone fighting because I don't think anybody should punch anybody, but they should not have took that man's job away."

"I absolutely 100 percent support him," echoed fellow survivor and Ravens fan Robin Manahan.

"I do. It had nothing to do with his job. [Rice] should not have lost his job. I'm supporting him all the way around. I think he's an awesome guy, I think he's an upstanding guy, and I think he's an awesome football player."

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One father, not wanting to waste his daughter's official NFL gear or support Rice, altered her number 27 jersey to say "Be nice to girls.

"It just seemed over-the-top to destroy it," Baltimore resident Bryan Bartlett told the Today Show of his alterations.

"Be nice to girls" is catching on around the Ravens fan base, with other purple and black supporters making the same alteration to their Rice jerseys.

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Baltimore pizzeria Hersh's Pizza is offering a free pizza in exchange for fans' unwanted Ray Rice jerseys to "save us money on toilet paper this week."

RELATED Female senators call on NFL's Goodell for 'zero tolerance' on violent assault

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