OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ)– Ray Rice stepped up to the microphone at a Ravens press conference Thursday morning. He talked about his two-game suspension– and publicly apologized to his wife.
“My actions were inexcusable. My actions are something I have to live with the rest of my life,” he said.
Rice drew criticism during a press conference with his wife in May, where she apologized, but he never said sorry to her. He addressed that on Thursday.
“I didn’t publicly apologize to my wife. I know that hit home for a lot of people,” Rice said. “I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. Me. She can do no wrong. She’s an angel.”
Suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the season, the running back has been quiet during camp. But his critics nationwide have been quite vocal about what many feel was a lenient punishment after he was indicted for physically assaulting his then fiancee.
To WATCH Rice’s complete public statement, click here.
Infamous TMZ Sports video shows Rice dragging his now-wife, Janay Palmer, from an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City in February after prosecutors say he punched her.
Rice would not specifically address anything that happened in Atlantic City. Instead, he says he takes responsibility and is now focused on moving forward.
“I own my actions,” he said. “I just don’t want to keep reliving the incident. It doesn’t bring any good to me. I’m just trying to move forward from it. I don’t condone it. I take full responsibility for my actions. What happened that night is something that I’m going to pay for the rest of my life.”
He spoke about his 2-year-old daughter one day going on Google and him having to explain what happened.
“I know that’s not who I am as a man. That’s not who my mom raised me to be. I was raised by a single parent, and that was my mother. I let her down, I let my wife down, I let my daughter down. I let her parents down. I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back,” Rice said.
A judge put Rice in a first-time offender program, meaning no jail time and a clean record. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who met with Rice and his wife, says the assault warranted suspension.
“We simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others… This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women,” said Goodell in a letter to Rice.
Rice’s conduct will cost him a two-game suspension and half a million dollars.
“When I didn’t have nothing growing up, all I had was football. Just to have that taken away from me, and I can’t be with you guys the first two weeks, it hurts,” Rice said. “I appreciate you guys support.”
At an open practice game last week, Ravens fans showed support by cheering for Rice.
“I appreciate the fans of Baltimore who gave me that ovation,” Rice said. “When the time is right, when I get myself completely right to go back out there and do the things I been doing in the community, I will go out there and help as many people as I can.”
Rice says the domestic violence situation is the first time that it’s happened. He also apologized to all victims of domestic violence.
The House of Ruth released the following statement:
“The unfortunate incident with the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice has generated tremendous conversation about the issue of intimate partner violence. We appreciate that Mr. Rice apologized to his wife and to all victims of intimate partner violence and is taking the best steps to create a healthy relationship in his family. We hope that Mr. Rice will now take an active stand in the work that is being done to end intimate partner violence. He is in a unique position to use his influence to let men know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and that it is not acceptable to be a bully in a relationship.
“All men, not just Mr. Rice, need to take responsibility as husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, caretakers and friends. They need to speak out and lead the charge that intimate partner violence is not acceptable at any level and it destroys lives and families.
“We look forward to the time that Mr. Rice is ready to turn this experience into a positive in our community and nationally.”
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