Ray Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after new video emerged of him knocking fiance Janay Palmer unconscious, but a family member is stepping forward to say the video isn’t as terrible as it may appear.
Rice had been initially suspended by the NFL for two games following the incident inside an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice had initially been seen on video dragging his unconscious fiancee from the elevator after an apparent fight.
But this week, a new video emerged from inside the elevator, showing Rice knocking Palmer out with a sharp blow to the face.
Though the footage appeared to paint Ray Rice as the aggressor, one unnamed family member said it doesn’t tell the whole story. In a statement sent to MediaTakeOut, the family member wrote:
“MTO please I want the truth to come out about [Ray Rice] and what happened in that elevator. I know everyone says Ray is an animal, but he’s NOT.”
“Ray has NEVER laid a hand on Janay, except on that night. Not BEFORE or AFTER. He made a terrible mistake and he’s willing to accept responsibility for his actions. But please tell people that it was a terrible mistake and that he is NOT AN ABUSER.”
“Here is what happened and it is the God’s honest truth. Janay was drinking and she started acting out. Ray kept his cool, even though she was hitting him in the face and body. But in the elevator, she spit right in his face and he reacted without thinking. He did NOT punch her, he slapped her and her head hit the wall. I’m not trying to make light of it, what Ray did was wrong. But it was a reflex – not something he thought about and then did.”
“I know to all the White media, he is just an abusive Black man but can you please put out the truth. He and Janay are working with counseling and their Pastor to get through this. There were a lot of mistakes made that day (especially by Ray) but we should really move on from this.”
Others have come to the defense of Ray Rice, including his now-wife. In a statement, Palmer said the suspension was unfair, and that the media is out to get her husband.
“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a– off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific (sic),” she said. “If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels.”
Ray Rice has not yet announced whether he plans to appeal the NFL’s suspension.