Floyd Mayweather Jr. Apologizes For Comments Defending Ray Rice

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is walking back comments that the NFL should have stood by its two-game ban of Ray Rice, admitting that he didn’t know about the new evidence in the domestic violence case.

Rice was initially suspended by the NFL for two games for an incident in which he was seen dragging unconscious fiancee Janay Palmer from an elevator. New video from inside the elevator showed Rice striking Palmer, now Janay Rice.

Mayweather said he did not know about the video when making his initial comment.

“I was just getting word from people that there was a video out there. I didn’t know because I’m training for a fight,” Mayweather said after the final news conference for his rematch against Marcos Maidana on Saturday night. “If I offended anyone, I apologize. I didn’t mean to offend anyone and I apologize to the NFL and anyone else that got offended. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and I don’t condone that at all.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. himself has been accused of domestic abuse many times, and in 2012 pleaded guilty to a reduced battery domestic violence charge, spending 90 days in jail in Las Vegas.

After his apology, Mayweather said he still felt for Ray Rice.

“I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also,” Mayweather said. “It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say. You know I wish Ray Rice nothing but the best. He’s probably going through a lot right now because football is his love. It’s no different with me being in the fight game if they told me, ‘You know Floyd, you signed the biggest deal in sports history (with Showtime/CBS) and a couple months later the deal is taken away from you’ — it’s like ‘Oh man.’ It’s not really the money. It’s the love of the sport.”

The distraction comes at a difficult time for Floyd Mayweather Jr. He is in the final stages of preparation for Saturday’s bout with Maidana and could have a mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao on the horizon. Promoter Bob Arum has been talking up the fight, saying that HBO and both camps are trying to make it happen.