Ray Rice Apologizes For "Horrible Mistake" With Domestic-Violence Incident

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Ray Rice (left) with wife Janay

The former Ravens running back, who's planning to move from Maryland to New York, thanked Baltimore and told the kids who looked up to him, "I'm truly sorry for letting you down."

As the one-year anniversary of Ray Rice's headline-making domestic-violence incident approaches, the former Ravens running back is apologizing for his actions.

In a statement issued to The Baltimore Sun on Friday morning, Rice wrote, "There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue."

He also addressed his position as a role model, writing, "To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare."

Rice, who plans to leave Maryland and move back to his home state of New York, The Sun reported, as he tries to relaunch his NFL career, also thanked Baltimore and the Ravens.

After shocking surveillance footage was released in September of Rice knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15, 2014, Rice was quickly kicked off the Ravens and suspended from the NFL, which has since found itself embroiled in a scandal over what it knew about Rice's behavior and when.

He was reinstated in November after appealing his suspension and is now a free agent. In an interview with NBC's Today, which aired in early December, Rice didn't speak directly about what happened that night, but he repeatedly said that he takes "full responsibility" for his behavior.

"This is something, you know, as a man you have to own, and we're horribly sorry," he said. "I'm horribly sorry for everything that I have to put my family through."

He added that he's particularly concerned about his daughter finding out about what he did and dealing with that. And he said that in order for another NFL team and its fans to give him a second chance, they would have to look past the events in that elevator and understand that he accepts the blame.

Read Rice's full statement, as published on the Sun's website, below.

Dear Baltimore,
This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I’m very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thank you.
-- Ray Rice

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