Ray Rice will face an uphill battle when it comes to repairing his image.
Having been charged with third-degree assault after allegedly knocking out his wife Janay Rice — then his fiancée — at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., Rice has lost sponsors and and support from those in Baltimore.
Rice was handed a two-game suspension and was fined a third game check by the NFL on Thursday, which brings his lost dollars to a total of $705,882. Right after the suspension was announced, Rice released a statement through the team, explaining his desire to make right of this situation.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault," Rice said. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.
“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”
Actions are louder than words, and Rice will have a ton of ground to make up to earn that trust back. What he did is unforgiveable in the minds of many, meaning he'll have to go above and beyond to be respected at the level he once was.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome also released a statement now that the NFL has finally made a ruling on Rice's suspension.
“We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice," Newsome said. "The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.
“We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Rice has three days to appeal the decision, though it's probably in his best interest to accept the punishment.
Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt
Check out our partners at TiqIQ for the best deals on all games on the 2014 NFL schedule.
SEP 19 Jeff Fedotin
Jets hold out hope cornerback can bolster beleaguered secondary.
SEP 17 Jesse Lawrence
Jesse Lawrence of TiqIQ takes a look at the hot tickets this weekend.
SEP 16 Joel Corry
After registering 19 sacks in 2013, the St. Louis pass rusher cashes in big.