That Ray Rice press conference did not go over well with people
MAY 23, 2014 3:55p ET
Ray Rice held a press conference Friday, marking the Baltimore Ravens running back's first public comments since his arrest on assault charges stemming from a February incident in which he allegedly struck his then-fiancee, Janey Palmer, and knocked her to the ground in an Atlantic City casino.
The press conference, tucked in right about the time America was headed home for its Memorial Day weekend, might have gone unnoticed had it not offended just about everybody watching. Rice apologized several times to several people, but most of what he said left the public and media shaking their heads.
First, he started with his apology. But even that went awry, as his owner, general manager and coach got the first mention and he referred to the incident as a "situation me and my wife were in":
"I just want to first off apologize to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and Coach Harbaugh ... everyone who was affected by this situation me and my wife were in."
At times, Rice sounded more like someone who just lost the Super Bowl rather than someone charged with assaulting his fiancee:
"Sometimes in life, you will fail. ... But I wouldn't call myself a failure."
He then managed to find about the worst analogy possible to sum up a situation in which one is allegedly knocked down by one's partner:
"Failure is ... It's not getting knocked down, it's not getting back up."
Palmer, now married to Rice, also offered an apology:
"I deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night."
We don't entirely know yet what her role was, but an apology from her felt wrong enough in the moment to create a big reaction.
To add fuel to the fire, the Ravens official account was redistributing these quotes, including Palmer's apology:
Ray Rice: "I won't call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down. It's not getting up."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014
Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014
The discussion in the time since has been more or less universally negative. Here's a sampling of replies to the Ravens tweets, particularly the Palmer one:
Plenty of sports pundits pointed out the curious tenor of the event as well:
Face palm. RT @Ravens: Ray Rice: "I won't call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down. It's not getting up."— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) May 23, 2014
he sees this as a challenge to overcome. wow. RT @sgshowers7: and ray using the "knocked down" references ? What is he doing— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 23, 2014
E. Allan Poe would like his bird back.— Old Hoss Radbourn (@OldHossRadbourn) May 23, 2014
There's still much to learn about what happened that night, but for now, Rice and the Ravens' attempt to clear some air appears to have backfired.
You can hear a few other quotes in the video above. You can see the full version here.