Janay and Ray Rice
December 02, 2014 11:40 AM

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Ray Rice knows he’s made mistakes in the past, but he hopes to make amends – starting with his wife.

“I made a horrendous mistake not apologizing to my wife,” he said Tuesday on the Today show.

The Baltimore Ravens dropped the running back in September after a video showing Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay unconscious in a hotel elevator seven months earlier was posted by TMZ.

Last week, a judge overturned Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, making him eligible to play immediately. He is not currently attached to a team.

In a press conference following the release of the video, Janay apologized to her husband, but Rice did not publicly seek her forgiveness.

“I was nervous, and that was the first time we were available to speak,” he told Matt Lauer.

But Rice isn’t trying to excuse himself – and says he takes full responsibility for his actions.

“This is something, you know, as a man you have to own,” he said. “I’m horribly sorry for everything that I have to put my family through.”

The 27-year-old admits it bothered him to hear his wife say she was sorry for his actions.

“I think it was her … trying to take light off the situation,” Rice said. “I appreciated it, but that’s not what the big deal is. The big deal is for me to always protect her, and that’s why I said I take full responsibility.”

In a separate interview that aired Monday on Today, Janay insisted that she had never been a victim of abuse prior to that fateful day in February.

“I’m not going to sit there in silence and let something happen to me – and God forbid, in front of my child, just like, let it happen?” she said. “There’s no way.”

Added Rice: “No relationship is perfect. We’ve had arguments, but when you talk about abuse, you know, that’s something that we know that we’d never cross that path … That was just very uncharacteristic of myself.”

Now, he says he hopes to become a spokesman against domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a real issue in society,” he said. “We could take our one bad night, it just happened to be on video, but we are truly sorry to the people that are really going through it.”

Continued Rice: “It’s a real problem. And I know when the time is right, I know my wife wants to help, I know I want to help.”

The star football player also hopes to get a second chance in the NFL.

Speaking of what it would take for another team to sign him, Rice said, “They would have to be willing to, you know, look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night, and I took full responsibility for it.

“And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I’ve accepted it,” he added. “I went fully forward with it. I never complained, or I never did anything like that. I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.”

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