The wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice sat down for an interview on the Today show Monday morning after being thrust into the spotlight and media microscope for an offseason incident that made her the face of domestic violence.
Janay Rice talked with Matt Lauer alongside her mother, Candy Palmer, and was very supportive of her husband despite a violent episode that left Rice with an indefinite suspension from the NFL, which was overturned on Friday. With arbitration now in the past, Janay Rice opened up about the incident and the aftermath.
This was the first time Janay Rice has spoken since her husband was reinstated. The only other times she's talked publicly about the altercation were in an interview with ESPN conducted in early November and during a press conference in May. In the presser, she apologized for her role in the situation, which stirred a firestorm of criticism for the team. She told Lauer that it was suggested to her by the team that she apologize for her involvement and that the Ravens gave the couple "a general script" for the press conference.
"That was frustrating for me, because obviously people took it as, you know, I'm taking light off of what Ray did," Janay Rice told Lauer. "I didn't think it was completely wrong for me to apologize, because at the end of the day I got arrested, too, so I did something wrong, too. Not taking any light off of what Ray did because I agree with everybody else. He was wrong."
Much of the criticism of the press conference also revolved around Ray Rice's apology in the press conference. Rather than apologize to his wife for the events that happened, the running back apologized to the team and its fans.
"He apologized to me more than once," Rice said. "Countless amounts of times. I'm sitting there next to him, so I wouldn't be sitting there next to him if I wasn't the first person to get an apology. There's no way. But the whole thing was awkward. We were just doing what we had to do to get it over and done with."
With Ray Rice reinstated on Friday, the running back is now free to sign with any team and play immediately; however, it could be an uphill climb to convince anyone to overlook the potential distraction.