Ray Rice stepped to the microphone, took a deep breath and spoke for 17 minutes about what he called “the biggest mistake of his life.”
His arrest for domestic violence against his then-fiancee last February is something Rice figures will haunt him long after NFL career has ended.
The Baltimore Ravens running back was arrested on assault charges following a Feb. 15 altercation in New Jersey in which he allegedly struck Janay Palmer. Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being dropped.
“My actions that night were totally inexcusable,” said Rice, who during Ravens training camp Thursday spoke publicly for the first time since receiving a two-game suspension from the NFL.
“My daughter is 2 years old now. One day she’s going to know the power of Google. Me having to explain that to her, what happened that night, that’s something I have to live with the rest of my life.”
Rice was referring to a grainy video in which he is shown dragging Palmer, now his wife, from an elevator at an Atlantic City casino.
“I don’t want to keep re-living the incident. I’m trying to move forward,” Rice said. “What happened that night was a huge mistake, and that’s what I’ll keep it at. I don’t condone any of my behavior. I take full responsibility for my actions. My wife can do no wrong.”
Rice wore a Ravens polo shirt and a pained expression throughout the session. More than a dozen TV cameras were in place, some telecasting the interview live, and several of his teammates stood behind the throng to show their support.
Rice, 27, is the team’s career leader in total scrimmage yards and ranks behind only Jamal Lewis in total yards rushing. But this press conference wasn’t about football.
This was about apologizing for actions that he insisted were one of a kind.
“It was the first time it ever happened,” he said. “I’ve never had a problem with domestic abuse. This was a one-time incident.”
Trump’s pursuit of Bills proceeds
Donald Trump has been chosen to advance to the next round of bidding to purchase the Buffalo Bills, a person familiar with the sale selection process told The Associated Press.
The person said Trump was informed of the decision by Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the sale of the team for late owner Ralph Wilson’s estate. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale is being conducted privately.
The decision comes after prospective groups were asked to submit non-binding bids by Tuesday. It’s unclear which other bidders have been chosen to advance.
League welcomes next generation of statistics
NFL players will wear transmitters inside their shoulder pads this season to help measure stats such as how far they ran during a game.
The league said Thursday that it will install real-time location systems in 17 stadiums. The receivers located throughout the venue will collect data including position, speed and distance that will be compiled into a database. Coaches, broadcasters and fans will have access to these “next-generation” stats during the game.
The Zebra Technologies systems will be installed in Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington.