BALTIMORE, September 10 – The wife of disgraced NFL star Ray Rice defended her embattled husband saying their lives were ruined by the release of a video showing him savagely knocking her out as President Barrack Obama waded into the saga by condemning domestic violence.
Rice was fired by the Baltimore Ravens and hit with an indefinite suspension by the league after a new video released Monday by celebrity website TMZ showed him punching his then-fiancee in the face and knocking her unconscious.
But Janay Rice said Tuesday in an Instagram posting that the extreme public attention was adding to her misery.
“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote.
“But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted (opinions) from the public has caused my family.”
The Ravens were to pay Rice $10 million over the next three years while the league, which had only banned from two games based on prior evidence, now requires any team wishing to hire him to obtain approval from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific,” Janay Rice said.
“THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”
Even with his wife’s support, Rice was in disgraced exile and his career prospects dim.
The White House released a statement strongly condemning domestic violence after NFL running back Ray Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens for an act of domestic violence.
The statement, released by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, said: “The President is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society.
“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football – and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”
The statement did not mention Rice by name, but came in response to a question from Fox News reporter Ed Henry earlier in the day. At the time, Rice had just been cut by the Ravens, and Earnest said he hadn’t had the chance to speak with the president about it. That conversation happened Monday night, the White House said.
Obama greeted Rice and his teammates at the White House last year after the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII.