Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke out on Tuesday about the infamous February night when he knocked his then-fiancé unconscious in a casino elevator, an incident that would later get him suspended indefinitely from the NFL.
“I’m horribly sorry for everything that I have to put my family through. I still got to live every day, go take my daughter to school. She’s going to grow up and the way the Internet works now she’s going to Google her father’s name and the first thing that’s going to come up is, you know what’s going to come up,” Rice told “TODAY” host Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview.
Rice opened up in his kitchen, flanked by his wife Janay and her parents, about second chances and taking responsibility.
The months following the incident were marked by counseling (“What my counselor did was ripped me apart and put me back together,” Rice says) and the controversial press conference that stoked the scandal, in which Janay apologized while Ray didn’t.
“I made a horrendous mistake not apologizing to my wife,” Rice said. “The reason why that press conference was the way it was, was because we were still under legal situations. So there wasn’t much that could be said.”
RELATED: Janay Rice breaks her silence
“It wasn’t truly coming from us, if you can understand, but I made it clear in my last time I was able to speak that my wife is an angle. She can do no wrong. I take full responsibly for my actions,” he added.
“He apologized to me more than once. Countless amounts of times. I’m sitting there next to him, so I wouldn’t be sitting there next to him if I wasn’t the first person to get an apology. There’s no way. But the whole thing was awkward. We were just doing what we had to do to get it over and done with,” Janay Rice told Lauer in a separate interview.
Last week, an appeal lifted Rice’s lifetime ban from the NFL, paving the way for him to sign with a new team. Four franchises are reportedly interested in his services.
To sign him, the running back says they “would have to be willing to, you know, look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night and I took full responsibility for it.”
“I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.”