Just one year after security footage was released of Ray Rice beating his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, in a hotel elevator, the athlete is getting candid about what he calls “the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
“I can understand some people probably never will forgive my actions,” Rice, who called himself a rehabilitated man, said during ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
In September 2014, the former Baltimore Ravens player was suspended indefinitely from the squad after elevator footage leaked from February of him knocking out Palmer at a casino in Atlantic City. After being suspended, Rice’s name was dragged through the mud for his egregious crime. And although the world was disappointed with the athlete, Palmer forgave him and still married him.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The football player, who became eligible to play again in November 2014, had his case dismissed in May. He is now back on track to create a new name for himself.
“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.”
Watch the clip below: