More than four years after knocking out his fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator, ending his NFL career in an instant, Ray Rice now is looking back in anger — at himself.
“I hate that person,” the former Baltimore Ravens running back told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday regarding the infamous 2014 tape. “I hate him … Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this, that and the other — I actually got my second chance.”
Rice, 31, and his wife, formerly Janay Palmer, sat down with Gayle King in their Connecticut home to discuss how the couple persevered after Rice was caught on a security camera punching and dragging her out of an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in February 2014. The Ravens cut Rice after the footage surfaced and the New Rochelle, NY, native never played another down in the NFL.
“One of the underlying issues for me was — I never wanted to ask for help,” Rice said about the personal problems he was dealing with prior to the incident. “Football, for me, was my counseling. It was my therapy. It was my psychologist. It was my everything.”
Rice started to realize his mother was “going through a bad relationship” when he was 11 years old and he began “normalizing abnormal things.”
“I was a man at 11, and then at 21 I got drafted and became a boy,” Rice said. “Yes. We didn’t have a physical abuse problem. But I can say there were different forms of abuse that take — that took place. Was it emotional? Financial? You get to the physical, and that’s obviously, like, if it’s one time, it’s still one time too many.”
Rice agreed to the interview in the aftermath of security camera footage surfacing from a Cleveland hotel that showed then-Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman. Like Rice, Hunt was quickly cut by his team.
“Well, obviously, you know, you look back and you see the similarities,” Rice said of the two incidents. “Early on you could feel like, ‘Why they keep bringing my name up?’ You can make excuses or you can actually do the hard work.”
Rice and his wife married just weeks after the incident that sent shock waves throughout the league, and the couple now has two children. Janay Rice, meanwhile, said she still has never seen that footage — the only time Rice has physically abused her, she said.
“I was there,” she said. “I lived it. I don’t really need to relive it over and over again just to appease the world.”
Rice said he and his wife got past his “darkest moments” because of their undeniable bond, one that started long before their marriage.
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“But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident,” Rice said. “That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”
Rice has no interest in returning to the NFL, saying he’s “done with football.”
“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most,” he said.
Rice said he has met with league officials about how they’re addressing violence against women following the Hunt video and the arrest of Reuben Foster, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers after being arrested on domestic violence charges before being swiftly scooped up by the Washington Redskins.
“I know the NFL … they’re not trying to push — they’re not trying to push people who do bad things or abuse against women,” Rice said. “They’re not trying to push those guys on the field.”
Janay Rice, meanwhile, said she’s not interested in explaining her relationship to outsiders.
“And I’m not here to force people to understand,” she said. “It was never a thought whether I was going to leave or not, because I knew that that wasn’t him in that moment. This is somebody I’ve known since I was 15 years old. I knew that we had work to do, and I was willing to move forward and put in the work.”