Ray Rice's message to Baltimore: "There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize"

In a letter to the city, the former Ravens running back said he was sorry for the "mistake" he made

Published February 13, 2015 3:46PM (EST)

Ray Rice            (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Ray Rice (AP/Patrick Semansky)

It's been a year since former Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulted his then-fiancée (now wife) Janay Rice in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino. On Friday, he wrote an open letter to the people of Baltimore apologizing for his "bad decision," and thanking the city for "the love we've received."

In recent months, Rice has been on something of a campaign to rehabilitate his image in hopes of playing football again with another NFL team, though, according to the Baltimore Sun, he has not visited or worked out with any other teams. After initially receiving a two-game suspension for the assault, Rice was released from the team after a second video of the incident, showing Rice knocking Janay unconscious, was made public. The NFL then leveled an indefinite suspension, but it was overturned after Rice appealed.

Rice is now eligible to play again if another team picks him up. His statement was published in the Sun:

Dear Baltimore,

This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you've shown my family and I throughout my football career. We'll always be grateful for the love we've received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I'm truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it's helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people's lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I'm very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I'll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thank you.

— Ray Rice

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Domestic Violence Janay Rice Nfl Ray Rice Roger Goodell