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On Tuesday, NBC’s Today aired the rest of its interview with former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife, Janay, with Rice speaking at length about their relationship and moving forward from that night in Atlantic City when he was shown on video knocking her out. The interview was Rice’s first since the brutal video emerged.
While Rice didn’t speak directly about what happened that night, 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.
“I still got to live every day, go take my daughter to school. She’s going to grow up, and the way the Internet works now she’s going to Google her father’s name, and the first thing that’s going to come up is, you know what’s going to come up,” Rice said. “The reality of it, and that’s what I’m more worried about fixing, is that I want my wife, my daughter, my family — we all just want our lives back.”
Rice 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.
“They would have to be willing to, you know, look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night, and I took full responsibility for it,” he said. “And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I’ve accepted it. I went fully forward with it. I never complained, or I never did anything like that. I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.”
He also defended his wife against claims that she’s in denial and just sticking with him because he’s a rich, famous football player.
“I knew my wife before I had anything. We both know where we came from,” he said. “And just to be honest with you, she’s very independent. My wife can survive in this world without me. She could survive in this world in society without me. She could’ve done it on her own. The one thing I want people to understand is that she sacrificed her well-being for me.”
He went on to say that he’s willing to sacrifice for her.
“If I never play football again, I’ll be honest with you, I would adapt into life and I would sacrifice more so she can have a better future,” he said.
Rice repeated what his wife said, that he never physically abused her before that night.
“We’ve had arguments, but when you talk about abuse, you know, that’s something that we know that we’d never cross that path. But then did we say things to each other that we want to take back at times? Yeah, we crossed that line before, but it never got to an altercation where it went that far,” he said. “That was just very uncharacteristic of myself.”
Although both Rice and his wife have said they just had one bad night, the former Ravens running back echoed what his wife said about being aware of the larger issue of domestic violence.
“I realize that the amount of people we’ve affected, the amount of families we’ve affected, that, you know, domestic violence is a real issue in society,” he said. “We could take our one bad night, it just happened to be on video, but we are truly sorry to the people that are really going through it. You know, it’s a real problem. And I know when the time is right, I know my wife wants to help, I know I want to help.”
Today also posted a video of Lauer’s conversation with Janay’s father, Joe Palmer, who explained how he kept an eye on Rice and was very angry after the news of what happened in that elevator emerged. Watch that and the rest of Rice’s interview below.
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