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

Tue Sep 9, 2014 8:05pm EDT
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(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 after 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 at 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.

When asked in a CBS News interview on Tuesday whether the NFL needed to see the second video to make a decision on suspending Rice, Goodell said "we certainly didn't".

"What we saw yesterday was extremely clear, is extremely graphic and it was sickening. And that's why we took the action we took yesterday," Goodell said.   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