Baltimore (AFP) - Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, making his first public comments since being banned for two NFL games for allegedly assaulting his then-fiancee, called it "the biggest mistake of my life".
Rice and Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, had an altercation in an Atlantic City casino elevator and security video posted online by TMZ.com showed Rice lifting a motionless Palmer out of the elevator and onto the floor.
"My actions that night were totally inexcusable," Rice said. "I made the biggest mistake of my life."
Rice apologized to his wife and all women who have been affected by domestic violence.
"That night I replay over and over in my head. That's not me," Rice said. "My actions were inexcusable. That's something I have to live with the rest of my life."
Rice was arrested and charged with domestic violence assault. In May, he began a one-year intervention program that allowed him to avert prosecution and avoid serving jail time.
Charges against him will be expunged from his record upon successful completion of the program.
"Violence of any kind, especially man on woman, is just not right," Rice said. "It shouldn't be tolerated. It's not right for society no matter what. That's something I'll stand by and I have to pay for that."
The NFL suspended Rice for two games, costing him half a million dollars (373,000 euros) but drawing criticism for a punishment seeing him banished for fewer games than dope cheats.
Rice ran 214 times for 660 yards and four touchdowns last season while adding 321 reception yards. Rice has 6,180 career rushing yards and 37 touchdowns and has caught 369 passes for 3,034 yards and six touchdowns.