Ravens' Rice apologizes for altercation with fiancee
HIS VOICE cracking with emotion, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice acknowledged yesterday that he "failed miserably" and apologized for the actions that led to his arrest on assault charges.
Rice was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City in which he allegedly struck fiancee Janay Palmer. The couple married in late February, and both went to the stage at the team training complex for their first public comment since the arrest.
"I failed miserably, but I wouldn't call myself a failure, because I'm working my way back up," Rice said.
Wearing a light gray suit and striped tie, Rice spoke for just over 6 minutes at a news conference at the team's training complex in Owings Mills, Md., and didn't take questions. His speech was not prepared, but he often referred to notes on his cellphone.
"I know many of my supporters, sponsors, don't want to be in partnership with me. That's my fault," Rice said. "I take full responsibility for that. One thing I do know is that I'm working every day to be a better father, a better husband and just a better role model."
Rice was accepted Tuesday into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged.
"I want you to know I'm still the Ray Rice that you know, or used to know, or grown to love," Rice said. "I'm still the same guy. As me and Janay wish we could take back 30 seconds of our life, we definitely sit here and tell you that we are better parents, we are better lovers and also better friends."
Among those in attendance were Rice's mother, Janet, and his father-in-law, Joe Palmer.
Rice, 27, has played 6 years for the Ravens. He is the team's career leader in total scrimmage yards and ranks behind only Jamal Lewis in total yards rushing.
After Rice was done speaking, Janay enforced the couple's united front.
"I do deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night," she said. "But I can say that I am happy that we continue to work through it together. I love Ray, and I know that he will continue to prove himself not only to you all, but to the community, and I know he will gain your respect back in due time."
* Broncos safety T.J. Ward appeared in court on misdemeanor charges that he threw a glass mug at a bartender at a Denver strip club.
Ward, 27, is charged with misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace in the May 10 incident at PT's All Nude club. Court documents say Ward tossed the mug at the bartender at 2:40 a.m. after he was told he couldn't bring a drink into the club.
Ward signed a 4-year, $22.5 million deal with Denver this spring. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season in Cleveland. Under NFL rules, Ward could be fined, but a suspension is considered unlikely.
* Colts owner Jim Irsay was formally charged with two misdemeanor counts stemming from his arrest in March.
Hamilton County (Indiana) prosecutors said Irsay was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a Schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body. An affidavit says Irsay was driving under the influence of oxycodone and/or hydrocodone.
Irsay was arrested near his home with $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle. He later sought treatment. Irsay acknowledged in 2002 he had become dependent on painkillers after several years of orthopedic operations but said he had overcome the problem.