NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – New Rochelle native Ray Rice was contrite and compassionate on Friday, as he and his wife announced that he was accepted into a pre-trial intervention program that will lead to the dismissal of the aggravated assault charge he pleaded not guilty to earlier this month.
Checking his iPhone for notes he made, a tearful Rice apologized to his team, family, friends and fans for the role he played in an Atlantic City incident with his then-fiancé Janay Palmer, who was also at the media briefing held in Baltimore, where Rice is a star for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Rice did not accept questions from media in attendance.
In February, a video surfaced that showed Rice dragging Palmer out of an elevator, much to the dismay of his fans and team personnel. If he completes his intervention program, the charges against him will be dismissed.
“I pride myself on my job. It’s a very prideful job, and I’m blessed to be playing at the highest level in sports,” he said to a crowd of reporters and teammates. “The job I do is more than scoring touchdowns. It’s getting out into the community and helping out.”
The running back said that he’s striving to be a better role model, and is attending counseling with Parker. Although he said he wished he could take back the incident, he didn’t back down from taking responsibility.
“I know many of my supporters, and sponsors have taken action and don’t want to be in partnership with me, and that’s my fault,” he said. “I take full responsibility for that, and one thing that I do know is that I am working everyday to be a better father, a better husband, and just a better role model.”
An emotional Rice – who is second on the list of all-time rushers in Ravens history – concluded his speech by noting that he didn’t consider himself a failure as long as he continued trying to better himself.
“I treat my job as a very special job and I failed miserably, but I wouldn’t call myself a failure, because I’m working my way back up,” he said. “Sometimes in life you will fail, but I won’t call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down, it’s not getting up.”