PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - Perrysburg Councilman Todd Grayson is receiving some backlash after posting a comment about the Ray Rice domestic violence video.
The video posted by TMZ shows the former NFL running back punching his then-fiancee in the face knocking her unconscious in a casino elevator.
Since the video surfaced Rice has been dropped from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL.
Councilman Grayson commented quote 'Maybe she could stop running into his fist! That really wasn't nice. He could have injured his hand on her sharp face and ruined his career. That was a close one!'
The comment was posted on a friend's Facebook page and has since been spreading on social media.
Perrysburg residents say they are not laughing.
"I think that is was really, really rude," Betsy White. "It's sort of sexist."
"I don't think it is ever funny when you're discussing someone being injured or abused," said Gina Haskins.
Grayson says he stands behind his comment one hundred percent and that is was simply a sarcastic joke.
When asked if he believed the comment downgraded what happened to Rice's now-wife he said 'I think the only downgrade could have been if the joke hadn't been as completely absurd as it was. I mean there was nothing serious about it, you know I said she had a sharp face you know you shouldn't run into my fist I mean those are, no part of that in any way suggesting that it is ok to hit someone.'
Still residents feel his comments were inappropriate.
"Anything you post online will follow you the rest of your life so that wasn't a very funny of a thing for him to do," said Eric Risner.
"Whenever you are in public office everything is fair game," said Gina Haskins. "I just don't think he should have said what he said."
Grayson says it was just a joke and people should take it as sarcasm.
"There was nothing remotely serious about it and if someone wants to take something that is completely absurd and treat it like it was serious then that is really their own problem," said Grayson. "'Do I regret making the comment?' No. I mean it was a joke on a friends page, and it was a joke that was so absurd that there is no possible way a rational person could have read it and thought that it wasn't anything other than a joke."
Since Grayson's comment rumors have been going around about his future on Perrysburg City Council.
The President of Perrysburg City Council says they have no plans to remove Grayson and they couldn't if they did. The president says Grayson would have to resign or be recalled on a ballot.
Tuesday Grayson did send an email to his colleges on the council apologizing for creating a stir and that he does not advocate domestic violence.
As far as those who see this and feel he owes an apology Grayson says they can choose not to vote for him.
"That will happen, you know people are people, people have different opinions. I don't feel bad for that," said Grayson. "I hope people learn, they come and understand it, I hope people reach out to me if they have a question. Happy to take any calls or emails and clarify anything that is confusing to anybody."
If you want to reach out to Grayson about his comment you can contact him at Perrysburg City Hall by email email@example.com or by phone at 419-872-8010.
Grayson released the following statement on the matter:
Perrysburg residents and those of Northwest Ohio,
I would like to apologize for my words as they were presented by The Blade in this article. I did not realize that they posted my comment in the form that they did. I would have admonished myself as they were presented. As a student of the English language, I also chose to use the word "joke" in my description of my intent here, and instead should have used the word "hyperbole." It is defined as, "exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally," and the intent was to be critical of the NFL and Ray Rice for both of their behaviors by making an exaggerated statement about his and the NFL's actions here.
My feeling on domestic violence is quite clear when the full context and intent is considered: I take it seriously, I feel for the current Mrs. Rice, it is never okay, and the NFL is to be criticized for taking so long to act accordingly and suspend Rice indefinitely. However, I can see how someone reading the Blade story, seeing "my post," and then reading my comments about it would view me in a negative light as someone who condoned such disgusting behavior.
I tried to use sarcasm and hyperbole to critique bad behavior, not condone it. To the audience it was intended for and within the context it was printed it made sense, and at worst it was in poor taste, but certainly did not read as being justification for domestic violence. In fact, it did just the opposite. Cut and pasted without context and viewed from a neutral perspective with my comments in The Blade, it is easy to see how one could take it differently. For that I'm sorry.
I hope that people take time to learn about someone before they judge. I hope that the comments about me being put in an elevator with Ray Rice are seen as hyperbole and satire and not advocating domestic violence.