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Many female Ravens fans are defending Ray Rice after being fired for knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator.

A number of men and women arrived at last nights football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore are wearing Rice jerseys – as controversy over the NFL’s botched investigation of the case threatens the job of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

As the Ravens took to the field in Baltimore, there were a few fans wearing Rice’s jersey, with many saying they were deliberately making a statement.

Racquel Bailey stood with a drink in hand making a bold fashion statement in her black, rhinestone-decorated jersey with the white No 27.

“There’s two sides to every story,” said Bailey, a 23-year-old waitress from Baltimore. “I saw the video. That’s their personal business, and it shouldn’t have affected his career. I don’t agree with domestic violence, but she’s still with him, so obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it.”

Gage Friend, 18, said he’s received a mixed response to his No 27.

“I took the bus here, so people were, like, ‘Good, I’m glad to see to someone out here showing support,'” Friend said, as he learned against the barrier by the players’ entrance.

One women who said she left her husband after he hit her still wore a No 27 jersey to support him.

“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,” LaTonya Jones told USA Today.

“They’re both to blame,” another fan, Maria Pirovolikos, told the newspaper. “She put her hands on him. It’s not okay for women to hit men, it’s not okay for men to hit women. I don’t think what he did was right, but you know what, it happens every day. They were drunk. They’re both to blame.”