In an interview Tuesday with Matt Lauer of "Today," the 27-year-old free agent running back discussed the fallout of an act of violence he committed against his wife (then-fiancee), Janay Rice, at a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in February as well as his hopes of resuming his career. On Monday, "Today" aired an interview with Janay Rice, who married Ray Rice in March, about the incident as well as her controversial apology during a May press conference, purportedly delivered at the behest of the Ravens.
Ray Rice was joined by Janay Rice and her parents for his portion of the interview:
Matt Lauer: What do you think it would take for another owner and another group of fans to put the images of that video behind and say, 'We'll take a chance on Ray Rice?'
Ray Rice: 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. And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I've accepted it. I went fully forward with it. I never complained, or I never did anything like that. I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.
The NFL initially suspended Rice for two games in July, a punishment widely criticized for its leniency. Upon the release of explicit video of the attack inside an elevator at the casino, by TMZ in September, the league changed the two-game suspension to an indefinite ban. Upon appeal, the indefinite ban was overturned by an arbitrator, on Nov. 28, leaving Ray Rice free to sign with any team that will have him.
No fewer than four teams expressed interest in the three-time Pro Bowl selection, claimed ESPN's Adam Schefter on Nov. 30:
A subsequent tweet from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports asserted that the Saints had "zero interest" in bringing Ray Rice to New Orleans. While he aims to return to the NFL, Ray Rice claims he is prepared to "sacrifice" for his wife.
"If I never play football again, I'll be honest with you, I would adapt into life and I would sacrifice more so she can have a better future," Ray Rice told Lauer.