Former Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice won an appeal against the NFL this week, and was cleared to return to the field. The NFL said his suspension had been “arbitrary,” and he “did not mislead anyone” in his prior hearing about the domestic abuse incident that left his now-wife Janay Rice unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator.
Janay Rice acknowledged that the couple had been arguing the night of the Valentine’s Day incident and drinking heavily, records show. At the time, she was his fiancé, and they got into a physical altercation when she struck him. He then hit her so hard it knocked her unconscious. The incident was documented on a hotel camera, and police were summoned.
The NFL suspended Rice “indefinitely” after the incident, and he and Janay then married. Janay Rice has been heavily scrutinized and criticized in her decision to marry Rice after the domestic assault, but Janay claims it was an isolated incident, and has firmly support her husband throughout his ordeal. While some have wondered if Janay is a victim of battered wife syndrome, Janay states she is simply doing the right thing by her alliance with her husband. She has been very public in her support and description of the incident, and even tweeted about the NFL’s decision this week.
“This week I have something to be thankful for. I’m thankful that my husband will be returning to the nfl.”
Ray Rice has expressed his sorrow for his actions, and publicly apologized to his wife and his team, and while the sincerity of such apology has been questioned by many, he remains steadfast that he is a changed man.
“I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans — but most importantly, my wife Janay. I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes.”
Ray Rice is a free agent, which means he can be picked up by any team in the NFL now, but it remains unclear if a team will choose to take on the baggage that comes with a formerly disgraced player.
[images via ESPN]