In September 2014, Ray Rice saw his whole life and career tank after a video surfaced of him knocking out his now-wife Janay in an Atlantic City casino on Valentine’s Day. The Baltimore Ravens running back was soon cut from the team and became the face of domestic violence. His partner chose to stay by his side during the whirlwind and criticisms that ensued, but in an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Rice opened up about how hard the past year has been for him.
“It’s tough. I realize that’s a battle I’m going to have to face for the rest of my life. Time does heal everything, but I don’t think people are going to forget this,” Rice said. “I want people to not forget about the incident, but I want people to see there’s a human being on the other side. This is not a monster, a guy who’s a repeat offender. I’m not the guy they stereotype me to be. I’m not excusing what I did.”
After the full video of Rice became public, the NFL launched an investigation into the domestic violence case and ultimately decided to terminate his $35 million contract with the Ravens and place him on suspension indefinitely. Rice admitted that in those dark days he could see why some people are driven to suicide.
“You almost want to punish yourself. I know I’m never going to win the battle of public opinion. Honestly, I almost felt like at one point that it wasn’t worth living. I see why people commit suicide,” he said. “It hurt that bad. I was low, real low. It hurt that bad because you worked your whole life to do all the right things and then you’re the world’s most hated person. It was really tough. My daughter, oh Lord, I grew up without a father, there’s no way I could check out on my own family.”
Now with his status as a free agent, he’s popping back into the public eye and hopes that a team will give him a second chance when they start looking at available free agents on March 10.
“I’m optimistic that I’ll get a second chance. I don’t think this boils down to whether I can play football or not. Obviously I know that. I just think there’s so much more that comes with it. I know the PR side of it will be tough. I understand that.”
To read his entire interview, click here.
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(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)