One day after his wife Janay opened up to to Today, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice told his side of the story, including why he didn't publicly apologize to Janay and his hopes for his future career.
In February, footage of Ray dragging the unconscious body of his then-fiancée out of an Atlantic City elevator leaked. The pair gave a press conference in May, during which Janay apologized for her role in the incident, but Ray didn't apologize to her. Many found this imbalance to be very troubling and yet another instance of blaming the victim.
"Yes, I definitely understand that," Ray told Matt Lauer in an interview that aired Tuesday. "The reason why that press conference was the way it was, was because we were still under legal situations. So there wasn't much that could be said, but I'll be honest: We were nervous, I was nervous, and that was the first time we were available to speak. And I made a horrendous mistake not apologizing to my wife."
Ray admitted that what they said in the conference "wasn't truly coming from us," but that he takes full responsibility what happened that night. The couple have since entered counseling and Ray assured Lauer that there had been no other incidents of abuse leading up to him knocking Janay unconscious.
"No relationship is perfect. 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," Ray said. "That was just very uncharacteristic of myself. I take responsibility. That was very uncharacteristic."
After a second video of Ray knocking Janay unconscious in the elevator was released in September, he was let go by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL. But last week, Ray won an appeal to overturn the suspension and is once again eligible to sign with any NFL team. As to what it would take for a team to sign him, Ray said they would have to "look deeper into who I am."
"And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I've accepted it," Ray said. "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.
"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 added.
Janay said her husband's willingness to put football behind him didn't surprise her and that she's willing to pick up the financial slack. "I know he wants to play football, but I know regardless he'll always support me in anything that I want to do," Janay said. "So God forbid he doesn't play football again, then I'll step in and, you know, maybe I'll be a provider."