Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice discussed his recent suspension with The Baltimore Sun, saying at one point, "Honestly, I almost felt like at one point that it wasn't worth living. I see why people commit suicide."
Rice, 27, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in September after video surfaced of him striking and knocking out his now-wife, Janay Rice, inside a casino elevator. The Ravens terminated his $35 million contract on the same day. Rice was charged with felony aggravated assault and avoided jail time after entering a pretrial intervention program.
After appealing his indefinite suspension on the grounds that he had already been suspended for two games before the video's release, Rice was reinstated by the league in November.
"The big picture of it all, being the person that I am, I really felt horrible," Rice said in a recent hour-long interview. "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.
"It hurt that bad. 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. My daughter, oh Lord, I grew up without a father, there's no way I could check out on my own family."
In the interview, Rice said he and Janay have improved their relationship "significantly" through counseling. He also said he plans to move closer to his hometown of New Rochelle, N.Y., as he attempts to re-enter the league.
After injuries limited him to an unproductive 660-yard season in 2013, Rice said he is healthier and has cut his weight to 207 pounds. Rice was as heavy as 225 pounds in 2013, he told the Sun.
- Mike Fiammetta