As the training camps for football kick it into gear, there’s one player whose career is in limbo. It’s been over a year since Ray Rice was caught on tape brutalizing his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer. Rice is now speaking out about the incident and how it is affecting his future in the NFL.
“I can understand some people probably never will forgive my actions. But I think that every step that I took going forward right now—over time, I want to be able to rewrite the script, to tell my daughter that Daddy made the worst decision of his life, but this is what I did going forward.
“To the survivors of domestic violence, I understand how real it is, and I don’t want to ever take that for granted because this is a real issue in our society. My video put the light out there—if you have never seen what domestic violence looks like and you look at my video, I could understand why some people would never forgive me,” Rice told ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
Rice hopes to return to the NFL, but the incident that took place last February looms over his head, and he said he’s trying to prove to any team that’s interested that he’s a rehabilitated man.
“We do live in a society where public opinion matters, and I totally respect that. Domestic violence is real. It happens every 12 seconds as we speak … I think that that issue alone, with me in my situation, having the video—that puts a lot in perspective. That vivid memory, obviously, that was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Rice stated.
Rice is currently a free agent and initially received a two-game suspension, but after the footage was released, he was dropped from the Baltimore Ravens’ roster and suspended indefinitely from the NFL. He fought the suspension and is now able to play again. But will any team give him another chance?
“I understand why maybe a few teams or teams shy away from me,” Rice said during the interview. “I understand that because it’s a privilege. It truly is a privilege to play in the NFL. It’s a privilege to play professional sports.
“I always preach, one or two bad decisions and your dream could become a nightmare. Well, I had to eat my own words. I truly lived a nightmare. There is no set in stone whether you’re going to get a second chance or not. I have to set my hope and faith and everything else that I’m doing in my life; I’m just really hopeful for a second chance.”
Rice and Palmer got married six weeks after the attack in a casino elevator, and with his career in limbo, Rice hopes that people will eventually see him as a changed man.