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By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Bullying is a big problem across the nation so Ravens running back Ray Rice is spreading a message of hope in Maryland, reaching out to thousands of parents and kids.

Linh Bui reports.

Ray Rice has held several anti-bullying events–the latest at Towson University–and it’s all about letting kids know they’re not alone.

During the game, he fights his way into the end zone. Off the field, the Super Bowl champ tackles a different battle.

“We fought with kind words, getting people to understand that being nice to somebody can go a long way,” he said.

Ray Rice continues his “Ray of Hope” campaign, speaking out against bullying and teaching kids compassion.

“They say sticks and stones will break your bones but words won’t hurt you,” Rice said. “But words, with the power of social media, are killing people.”

Howard County mom Christine McComas joined Rice. Her daughter Grace committed suicide after being bullied online and her death sparked anti-cyberbullying legislation in Maryland.

“She was happy from birth. Nice kid, good kid. But tonight we’re gonna talk about kindness because that’s really what has to change,” she said.

Grace’s story inspired Rice’s campaign. He hopes that by reaching out to parents and young people through different events, the pro-kindness, anti-bullying campaign will grow.

“It starts with a vision and what I need you to do is take our vision that we’re building of stopping bullying everywhere,” Rice said.

Rice says he’s gotten thousands of emails from kids who have been bullied. He wants them to know it’s OK to be who they are.

Other speakers at the event included First Lady Katie O’Malley and Quinton Aaron who played Michael Oher in “The Blind Side.”

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