Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Ray Rice Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence, Says He’s ‘done with football’

*Four years after Ray Rice, 31, knocked out his fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator, the former Baltimore Ravens running back is now reflecting on his past anger and speaking out about domestic violence.

“I hate that person,” Rice told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday regarding the infamous 2014 tape that showed him dragging his now-wife Janay Palmer Rice,  unconscious and out of an elevator. The Ravens cut Rice after the shocking moment caught on camera. 

“I hate him … Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this, that and the other — I actually got my second chance.”

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Rice and his wife sat down with Gayle King to discuss life after that now infamous night at the Revel Hotel and Casino in February 2014. 

“One of the underlying issues for me was — I never wanted to ask for help,” Rice said about the personal problems he was dealing with prior to the incident. “Football, for me, was my counseling. It was my therapy. It was my psychologist. It was my everything.”

Rice says his mother experienced “a bad relationship” when he was a kid and it influenced how he began to normalize “abnormal things.”

“I was a man at 11, and then at 21 I got drafted and became a boy,” he said. “Yes. We didn’t have a physical abuse problem. But I can say there were different forms of abuse that take — that took place. Was it emotional? Financial? You get to the physical, and that’s obviously, like, if it’s one time, it’s still one time too many.”

Rice’s interview with King comes on the heels of security footage that emerged recently from a Cleveland hotel that shows former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt kicking a woman. Hunt was also quickly cut by the team.

“Well, obviously, you know, you look back and you see the similarities,” Rice said of the two incidents. “Early on you could feel like, ‘Why they keep bringing my name up?’ You can make excuses or you can actually do the hard work.”

Janay Rice married Ray weeks after he physically assaulted her and says she still has never seen that footage.

“I was there,” she said. “I lived it. I don’t really need to relive it over and over again just to appease the world.”

“But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident,” Rice said. “That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”

She added: “And I’m not here to force people to understand,” she said. “It was never a thought whether I was going to leave or not, because I knew that that wasn’t him in that moment. This is somebody I’ve known since I was 15 years old. I knew that we had work to do, and I was willing to move forward and put in the work.”

Meanwhile, Rice has no interest in returning to the NFL.

“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most,” he said.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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