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09/09/2014 04:06 pm ET Updated Sep 09, 2014

Ray Rice Breaks Silence, Tells ESPN: 'I Need To Be Strong For My Wife'

Ray Rice broke his silence one day after his NFL career was halted indefinitely.

Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday following the release of a video by TMZ that showed him knocking his then-fiancee and now wife unconscious at an Atlantic City casino in February. The 27-year-old running back spoke with ESPN reporter Josina Anderson on the telephone on Tuesday morning.

"I called Ray Rice this morning to connect with him and we spoke very briefly," Anderson said, recounting the conversation for ESPN viewers. "When I was able to ask him how he was doing, he said to me, 'I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong. We are in good spirits. We have a lot people praying for us and we'll continue to support each other.'"

LISTEN TO ANDERSON'S ACCOUNT OF CONVERSATION ABOVE

Rice also texted Rachel Nichols of CNN, sharing a similar message.

Rice was arrested following the incident of domestic violence depicted in the video released by TMZ. He was initially suspended two games by the NFL in July, but that punishment was changed on Monday to an indefinite ban just hours after the disturbing footage was made public.

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