Ray Rice apologizes for assault on wife
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke in public for the first time since his two-game suspension for assaulting his then-fiancee.
Rice addressed the media after Thursday morning's training camp session and took questions. The press conference was vastly different than the one in May that he and his wife gave where he did not take questions or apologize to his wife.
"Last time I didn't publicly apologize to my wife and I realize that hit home with a lot of people. There's many nights that me and my wife sleep together and we still have to deal with this. Her pain is my pain and my pain is her pain. The one thing I wanted to do today was apologize to my wife," said Rice.
The running back declined twice to give details about what happened in the Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator in February. He did say it was the first time he had ever done anything like that and apologized to all victims of domestic violence.
Rice's conduct will cost him a two-game suspension and half a million dollars.
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.
"That punishment that I received by the NFL, it hurts because I can't go out there and play football but it hurts more that I gotta be a father and explain what happened to my daughter. I think the punishment was the punishment and I never planned on appealing any kind of punishment. So whether it was two games, four games, six games, eight games, I was going to own m y actions and be a man about it," he said.
Rice says that "when the time is right", he and his wife will go out and help people affected by domestic violence. He also apologized to his wife, his family, his team, and to the City of Baltimore for his actions.
"My actions that night were totally inexcusable. That night I just replay over and over in my head, you know that's not me. My actions are inexcusable and are something I have to live with the rest of my life," he said.
Rice added: "I let my wife down, I let my daughter down, I let my wife parents down, I let the whole Baltimore community down, and I got my teammates here supporting me. I let my teammates down, and I let so many people down because of 30 seconds in my life I know I can't take back. But speaking on that part, what I've done going forward...I'm a man to say I needed help. One thing I realize is I'm not afraid to ask for help."
He's also aware of the young fans who look up to him.
"I still got kids out there that wear #27 jerseys and I just want to tell them, please don't make the mistake I did. I always talk about how one or two bad decisions and your dream can become a nightmare, and I was truly living a nightmare," said Rice.
Rice's suspension will take place the first two games of the season meaning he will miss home divisional games against the Bengals and Steelers.