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Ray Rice apologizes to Baltimore Ravens fans in a statement

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 2/13/2015 USAToday

Almost one year after his arrest in a domestic violence case, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has issued another statement thanking his supporters, apologizing for his "horrible mistake'' and appealing for forgiveness.

"This is not a farewell or goodbye," Rice said Friday in a statement released to the Baltimore Sun. Attempts to reach Rice's agent by USA TODAY Sports were unsuccessful.

Rice was arrested last Feb. 15 after an incident involving his then-fiancée and now wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator in an Atlanta City, N.J., casino. Video showed Rice knocking her unconscious with a punch.

Rice, who helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl title in the 2012 season, was cut by the Ravens on Sept. 8 and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Rice appealed, and an arbitrator lifted the indefinite suspension.

He is eligible to join another NFL team, but he has not yet been signed.

Ray Rice apologizes to Ravens fans © Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Ray Rice apologizes to Ravens fans

Rice's full statement to the Sun below:

Dear Baltimore,

This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you've shown my family and I throughout my football career. We'll always be grateful for the love we've received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I'm truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it's helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people's lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I'm very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I'll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thank you.

-- Ray Rice

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Follow Gary Mihoces on Twitter @ByGaryMihoces

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