Former Ravens running back Ray Rice made a public appearance Wednesday in Baltimore helping former teammate, wide receiver Torrey Smith, participating in a Toys for Tots drive to help needy families.
Rice has made few public appearances since a videotape surfaced of him hitting his then-fiancée in a casino elevator.
“It’s a warm welcome just to know that there are still people out there who still do support,” Rice said to CBS Baltimore. ”It does feel good to be out and amongst the Baltimore community and just to give back."
Rice was cut by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the NFL in September after TMZ.com released a video showing him striking Janay Rice, knocking her unconscious.
Rice had the suspension overturned last month by an arbitrator, who ruled that Rice did not lie to or mislead NFL commissioner Roger Goodell when the running back spoke to him in June.
“I made a horrible mistake in my life, but if you truly believe in second chances, they will forgive me,” Rice said. “I think all the fans have looked deep into who I am.”
Rice, 27, is now free to sign with any team. Former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III is conducting an investigation of the NFL on how it handled the probe and if anyone at the league office saw the videotape before it was released to the public.
- Scooby Axson