One week after the NFL gave Ray Rice a two-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy following an offseason arrest for domestic violence, the Ravens running back held an 18-minute press conference Thursday at the team’s facility in Maryland.
“I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life,” Rice told reporters in his first public statement since the two-game ban. “I take full responsibility for my actions. My wife can do no wrong. What happened that night should have never happened.”
Rice also made sure to apologize to his wife, Janay Palmer, publicly, something he hadn’t done in May during his first news conference about the incident.
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Rice appeared contrite and had the support of his teammates, several of whom were in attendance.
"I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back," Rice said. “The one thing I can control is being a better father and a better role model.”
Rice allegedly struck Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator on Feb. 15. Days later, video emerged of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator.
Rice made sure to note that when the time is right, he and his wife want to become ambassadors for domestic violence awareness.
"The pain I’m talking about living with is that, is waking up every day and my daughter is two years old now, I have a little girl who’s very smart, very intelligent," Rice said. "And one day she’s gonna know the power of Google. And we have to explain that to her — what happened that night. And I know that’s not who I am as a man.
"That’s not who my mom raised me to be. Anybody knows me and knows me, they know I was raised by a single parent and that was my mother. And sitting here today and replay the things my mom raised me to be. I let her down, I let my wife down, I let my daughter down, I let my wife’s parents down, I let the whole Baltimore community down, and I got my teammates here to support me and I let my teammates down, you know I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back."