Football / Sports

Rice apologizes for domestic dispute, arrest

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Admitting that he's failed but is working his way back up, an emotional Ray Rice apologized to his family, his fans and the Ravens' organization for "30 seconds" of his life that he would like to have back.

The comments, made at an afternoon news conference at the Under Armour Performance Center on Friday, marked the first time the Ravens' running back addressed his arrest following a physical altercation with his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino in February.

Rice and Palmer, who have been getting counseling and therapy, got married days after the running back was indicted on a felony aggravated-assault charge.

"Every day wasn't easy, but through all things, we were able to get through this," said Rice, his voice cracking with emotion several times. "There was a lot of tears shed but me and Janay can truly say that we're in a better place. Hopefully, one day, we'll gain back everyone's trust to let you all know that we're still the same people, I'm still the same person. I really treat my job as a very special job and I failed miserably. But I wouldn't call myself a failure because I'm working my way back up."

With family members in the front row, Rice and his wife spoke for less than 10 minutes. Rice did not take questions on advice from his legal team and the NFL Players Association.

"I know many of my supporters, sponsors who have acted as so to not want to be in partnership with me. That's my fault," said Rice. "I take full responsibility for that. One thing that I do know is that I'm working every day to be a better father, a better husband and just a better role model."

Rice and Palmer, who have been getting counseling and therapy, got married days after the running back was indicted on a felony aggravated-assault charge.

"I love Ray and I know he will continue to prove himself to not only you all, the community, and I know that he will gain your respect back," Janay Rice said.

Rice found out earlier this week that he has been accepted into pre-trial intervention program that would allow him to avoid jail time and ultimately could lead to the charge being eliminated from his record.

While the completion of the program would put his legal problems behind him, Rice is still likely facing a suspension from the NFL.

The Ravens start the first of three voluntary organized team activities next Thursday. Rice, coming off his most disappointing season as a pro, has focused on improving his conditioning this offseason and has vowed to take part in the voluntary minicamps.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Rice has rushed for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns in six NFL seasons. However, he was limited to 660 rushing yards and four touchdowns this past season.

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