-- Ex-Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice wasn't playing in last night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his fans were there in force, including many women who wore the disgraced football player's jersey with pride.
"Although I do not support Ray Rice's actions, I do support him as a person," Taylor Whitacre, 23, of Winchester, Virginia, told ABC News today. "You can't allow one person's mistake to define the person they are or the potential they have. If we didn't support people even when we don't always care for some of their decisions, a lot of us wouldn't have friends."
"I wish [Rice] nothing but success and can't wait to see him back in the NFL," added Whitacre, who was at the game in her Rice jersey.
Other women shared her sentiment, many saying they wore the jersey to make a statement.
"There's two sides to every story," said Racquel Bailey, a 23-year-old waitress in 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."
Christina Burke, from Bel Air, Maryland, is another woman who supports Rice.
"I just don't believe one action or mistake should define a person," she told ESPN
The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice's contract after video surfaced of the running back punching his then-fiancee -- and now wife -- Janay Rice unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The NFL also said he is suspended indefinitely. Rice has publicly apologized.
Major retailers including Dick's Sporting Goods and Modell's yanked Rice's jersey from the shelves after the announcement, and some Baltimore businesses offered discounts to people who gave them up.
But other fans are still rooting for Rice, and many showed their support by wearing No. 27.
"Yeah, I'm pretty aware of what he did," said Gage Friend, 18, who was wearing a Rice jersey at the game. "And yes, it was awful and it was definitely a mistake on his part, but he deserves a second chance."
"People have done so much worse in this league," Friend added.
Other fans used their Rice jerseys to make a different kind of statement.
Ravens fans Bryan and Angie Bartlett altered their 6-year-old daughter's No. 27 jersey, changing "Rice" to "Nice" and creating the message "Be Nice to Girls."
Another fan, Paul Kilduff, also used duct tape to spell "Be Nice" instead of "Ray Rice" on his jersey. But for Kilduff, the tape kept falling off so he eventually got rid of it.
"Ah, I might as well," he said, now sporting Rice's jersey unaltered. "Everybody deserves a second chance."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.