Cardinals practice squad hire ruffling feathers

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- An announcement Tuesday by the Arizona Cardinals Football Club about a new signing to the team's practice squad is raising some eyebrows.

In a press release, the organization said it has signed Chris Rainey, a running back to the practice squad.

According to, Rainey was arrested and later plead in to two separate domestic violence related cases. The Steelers released him after the second incident, which occurred during the 2012 season.

The announcement comes just one day after new video shows the now-infamous incident involving former Baltimore Raven start Ray Rice punching his then-fiance in the face.

"It's sick," said Mary, or 'Simply Mary' as she is known.

Domestic violence is a very personal issue for the Arizona transplant.

"I'm a survivor and I ended up three thousand miles away from my children and my family, struggling to find a job," she said.

She told 3TV the last incident with her ex-boyfriend happened around the holidays last year.

Mary has a protection order against him but says he violates it on a regular basis.

"He was still continuing to stalk me, track me, was using all kinds of electronic methods," Mary said.

As you might imagine, the thought of a professional football team signing someone with a history of domestic violence is not sitting well with Mary and others.

"Don't you think that they should have a good background, a good history? Something worth looking up to?" she asked.

3TV did reach out to the Cardinals organization Tuesday evening but did not hear back.

The NFL commissioner recently announced a new domestic violence policy, after criticism for the two-game suspension handed down to Ray Rice for the incident involving the former Raven.

The stricter policy includes a six-game suspension without pay for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second.

The video of the altercation leaked Monday showing Rice punching his then-fiance in the face.  Rainey's signing came just about 24 hours after that.

"There should be zero tolerance. If it happens once, it's zero tolerance and now you're talking somebody that's done it repeatedly," Mary said.

Mary is now focusing on her music and sharing her story to help other victims become survivors.

After being released by the Steelers, Rainey was picked up by the Colts during the 2013 season, so the Cardinals are not the only team to hire the running back despite his past.