With the one-year anniversary of Ray Rice’s punch-out of Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) in an elevator approaching, the former Baltimore Ravens and Rutgers running back issued a statement Friday morning to the Baltimore Sun, apologizing for the domestic abuse incident which was captured on video.
Rice, who slugged Palmer in an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15, apologized to the city of Baltimore, the Ravens and children who saw him as a role model. The disgraced — and jobless — running back also called his time in Baltimore "by far the best" in his family's lives.
At the time of the assault, Palmer was his fiancee. She later became his wife who has defended her husband against media criticism.
Addressed to the city of Baltimore, here's the full statement Rice released, according to the Baltimore Sun:
This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you've shown my family and I throughout my football career. We'll always be grateful for the love we've received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I'm truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it's helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people's lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I'm very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I'll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.
-- Ray Rice
The 28-year-old Rice hasn't had any opportunities to rejoin an NFL team despite being free to sign since the latter weeks of last season.
Call Rice's shame the Valentines Day gift that keeps giving or — more precisely — the one that will keep coming back.