Ray Rice Speaks on Video, Wife, Ravens Release: I Gotta Stay Strong For Janay!

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Former NFL star Ray Rice is speaking out for the first time since the release of the shocking video of Rice knocking his fiancee unconscious earlier this year.

Janay Palmer married Rice shortly after the incident, which became a hugely controversial story after Ray's arrest and modest two-game suspension.

The video of the attack did not surface until this week, however, and once it did, Rice was immediately cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

In an interview with ESPN, the disgraced 27-year-old running back said:

"I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong … We are in good spirits. We have a lot of people praying for us and we'll continue to support each other."

Perhaps not the best word choice by Ray, given the nature of his attack on Janay, but the two are nothing if not a united front, for better or worse.

"I have to be there for [Janay] and my family right now and work through this," he said.

The athlete then handed the phone to Janay Palmer, who explained, "I love my husband. I support him. I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter."

Earlier today, Janay posted a similarly defiant message on Instagram.

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," she wrote as the caption.

"But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself."

"No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing."

"To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. This is our life! What don't you all get."

"If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels," she continued.

"Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!"

Whatever you think of Janay and Ray's approach to the situation, he's not likely to play in the NFL anytime soon, or at all, after his release by the Ravens.

The controversy continues surrounding the NFL's initial response to the scandal and how the league did not obtain the stunning video in question earlier.

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