For the first time since his arrest on assault charges for allegedly knocking out his then-fiancee, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke to the media, apologizing to fans, team leaders and his family for what he called “the incident.”
His wife, Janay Palmer Rice, appeared with him at the short press briefing. While she gave a short statement, she didn’t hold Rice’s hand or smile during the media event.
The couple took no questions on the advice of their attorney. Both said they are working with a counselor in the wake of the reported assault.
“Everybody questioned what happened,” Ray Rice said. “One thing I can say is sometimes in life you will fail. I won’t call myself a failure. Failure is getting knocked down and not getting up.”
A deal he reached this week would dismiss the third-degree assault charge Rice faces if he successfully completes a New Jersey pre-trial intervention program that focuses on rehabilitation to prevent future criminal behavior rather than taking first-time offenders to trial. Its successful completion reportedly expunges the charges from the person’s record.
Earlier this month, Rice pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault charges for allegedly punching and knocking out his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator, WJZ TV reports.
The case stemmed from a Feb. 15 incident in which Rice was seen dragging Palmer, now his wife, at a casino. He and Palmer were married the day after Rice was indicted on a third-degree aggravated assault charge in March. They live with their young daughter in Reisterstown.
TMZ first published the video of Rice dragging the seemingly unconscious Palmer out of a Revel Casino Hotel elevator. Police say the two hit each other, but Rice’s blow reportedly knocked Palmer out.
Janay Palmer Rice was initially charged with simple assault in the case, but the charge was later dropped.
At Friday’s press briefing Janay Rice said, “I do deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night. We are continuing to strengthen our relationship and our marriage. I love Ray and I know he will continue to prove himself.”
Ray Rice said that he is working to be a better husband, role model and father through counseling.
“My wife is here. I
just want to thank her for loving me for where I was weak and building me up,”
he added. “Me and Janay wish we could take back 30 seconds of our life. We are
better parents through this.…Me and Janay can truly say we’re in a better
Alluding to the possibility that he has lost sponsorship deals, Ray Rice said it is his fault that sponsors don’t want to work with him. Several times in his remarks he said, "I'm the same guy" that fans and teammates admired in the past.