(BALTIMORE) — Disgraced running back Ray Rice said on Tuesday that he was in “good spirits” and trying to be “strong for my wife” despite being cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the National Football League over a video showing him punching his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.
Rice spoke with ESPN’s Josina Anderson hours after his wife, Janay Rice, put out a statement on Instagram defending her husband as “the man I love.”
Rice and his lawyers had made no public statements since TMZ posted a video Monday from inside the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey showing the couple in the elevator, a scene that ended with Janay Rice slumping to the floor after he punched her in the head.
“I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong…We are in good spirits,” Ray Rice told ESPN. “We have a lot of people praying for us and we’ll continue to support each other.”
“I have to be there for [Janay] and my family right now and work through this,” he said.
Rice handed the phone to his wife who added, “I love my husband. I support him. I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter.”
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