Ray Rice, the player who sparked the domestic abuse scandal that rocked the NFL to its core, says he contemplated suicide in the midst of the controversy.
“I almost felt like at one point that it wasn’t worth living. I see why people commit suicide,” he told the Baltimore Sun in an interview posted online Saturday.
The emotional confession came just over a year after Rice was caught on an Atlantic City casino surveillance camera dragging his then-fiancée Janay Palmer (now Rice) unconscious from an elevator.
The graphic act of violence led to the three-time Pro Bowl running back being cut by the Ravens and suspended by the NFL on Sept. 8. A media firestorm ensued, in which the league and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were heavily criticized for initially suspending Rice for just two games. He was suspended after the full video was released by TMZ.
“The big picture of it all, being the person that I am, I really felt horrible,” Rice told The Sun. “You almost want to punish yourself. I know I’m never going to win the battle of public opinion. Honestly, I almost felt like at one point that it wasn’t worth living. I see why people commit suicide.
“I was low, real low. It hurt that bad because you worked your whole life to do all the right things and then you’re the world’s most hated person. It was really tough,” he said, revealing that thoughts of his family stopped him from seriously considering killing himself. “My daughter, oh Lord, I grew up without a father, there’s no way I could check out on my own family.”
While many people aren’t ready to forgive or forget, Rice hopes that they can at least move on. “I feel like time heals everything,” he said. “There’s an old saying people tend to forget, but I don’t think people are going to forget this. I just think people are going to look at what I do with my life going forward.”
Rice is currently a free agent after being reinstated from an indefinite suspension in November and says he plans to play in the NFL again, if given the chance. “I don’t want my career to be defined by this one moment,” he said. “I really want to get back out there for my pride and to be able to leave