Ray Rice's wife rips media as video puts NFL on defensive

Tue Sep 9, 2014 5:46pm EDT
 
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - Ray Rice's wife defended the former Baltimore Ravens running back on Tuesday after a video showed him knocking her out and assailed the media for its handling of an incident that put the National Football League on the defensive.

Janay Rice, who married Ray Rice shortly after the February incident, accused the media of using the episode to pump up audience ratings.

"No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options (sic) from the public has caused my family," she wrote in an Instagram post about the incident. "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing."

Ray Rice, a top running back in the NFL until last season, was released by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the league after the graphic video went viral.

In breaking his silence since the video's release, Rice was quoted as saying: "I'm just holding strong for my wife and kid, that's all I can do right now," according to a tweet from CNN's Rachel Nichols.

Security camera footage shows Rice punching Janay inside an elevator of a New Jersey casino, her head hitting a rail before she crumples to the floor. An earlier video only shows Rice dragging the unconscious woman from the elevator.

The disclosure has raised the heat on the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, for being too lenient on the star player when it initially suspended him for two games and fined him $500,000. It has also raised questions about why the league had not seen the graphic footage before Monday.

The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassments for the league, which generates billions of dollars a year in revenues and ranks as one of the world's most successful sporting empires. Despite Goodell's efforts to stem the tide and contain the damage to the NFL's image, at least 21 players have been arrested this year, with charges ranging from public intoxication to weapons violations.   Continued...

 
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) warms up during the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII football practice in New Orleans, Louisiana January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Sean Gardner