Janay Rice to ESPN: ‘I still find it hard to accept being called a victim’

This photo from 11/5 shows suspended NFL running back Ray Rice with his wife, Janay, as they arrived for a hearing to fight Ray’s suspension. To recap, Rice was suspended indefinitely after a graphic security video surfaced in September. The vid showed Ray knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in a casino elevator (on Valentine’s Day). After the video became public, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted an apology from Janay for her actions. She later called the experience “a horrible nightmare” and blamed the media. The NFL (which initially suspended Rice for two whole games) promised to look into the claim that they received the video in April. And that’s where we left off.

On Friday, an arbitrator threw out Ray’s suspension. Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones described the NFL’s suspension of Ray as “arbitrary and an “abuse of discretion.” Rice shall be reinstated immediately to active NFL status and “is now eligible to sign with any NFL team.” So … Ray Rice shall bear no long-term consequences, provided that a team will be dumb enough to sign him.

Now it’s time to roll out the PR machine and hustle, and Janay has stepped up in a big way. She gave an extensive interview to ESPN from the home of Ray’s parents. The result? A 4500 word essay that goes way back to how she met Ray at a movie theater as teenagers. She talks about the elevator incident (as “that day“) and how she and Ray are moving forward. Janae discussed Ray’s “huge heart” and tendency to “put everyone else first.” She admits they have different communication styles, and things got “tough” when they had a baby. I’ve boiled down the interview (the full piece is here along with the ESPN teaser) to the most relevant portions:

There was something different about that day. The two of us were just off, starting that morning. I was annoyed because it was Valentine’s Day and Ray and one of his friends had planned a group trip to Atlantic City, while I had wanted to do something with just the two of us.

I was going to surprise Ray at the hotel with a couples massage, but the manager spoiled the surprise by calling Ray to confirm the time, instead of checking with me. From that moment on I was annoyed with everything, but I continued to act as if I was fine. We weren’t even in Atlantic City yet and nothing seemed to be going right.

After a silent, three-hour car ride we arrived at the hotel, where everything seemed to be much better. We were drinking and having a good time. After the club, our friends from Baltimore, Ray and I decided to go to the late-night restaurant in the casino. Ray and I were bickering. We were drunk and tired and while I know that some people may find it hard to believe, none of the six of us can remember exactly what Ray and I were arguing about. It was that insignificant.

As we were arguing, he was on his phone and not looking at me. I went to reach for his phone, and when he grabbed it back, he spit at me and I slapped him. We got into the elevator and what happened inside is still foggy to me. The only thing I know — and I can’t even say I “remember” because I only know from what Ray has told me — is that I slapped him again and then he hit me. I remember nothing else from inside the elevator.

The next thing I do recall is being in the casino lobby, surrounded by cops.

The police separated us and arrested us. They told me they had the entire incident on video. I was bawling. The cops tried to tell me what happened and I refused to believe them. If anything, I just felt like I was still drunk. I said to one officer, “That’s not us. What do you mean?” There were no marks on my face or body, and I felt perfectly fine. I was in complete shock.
The video didn’t make me rethink our relationship, but I did want more of an explanation from him. I asked him why he left me on the floor like that. I asked him how he felt when he saw that I was unconscious. He told me he was in shock. I asked him what happened when we got out of the elevator. He told me he was terrified because security was there. I asked him how he felt seeing me like that. He said he was thinking, “What did I just do?” I didn’t watch the video again.
We were married March 28, the day after he was indicted for aggravated assault. We didn’t choose that day because of the indictment. It just happened to be a Friday and a time when our families could attend our wedding without having to interrupt their work schedules. I didn’t understand why that was suspicious to some people. We’d been together seven years and had been engaged for two. What happened that night wasn’t going to change the fact that we were going to get married.
Looking out over the media, I became angry, seeing all the people who had been covering this and adding to the story. I wanted to tell everyone what was really on my mind. When it was my turn to speak, I said I regretted my role in the incident. I know some people disagreed with me publicly apologizing. I’m not saying that what Ray did wasn’t wrong. He and I both know it was wrong. It’s been made clear to him that it was wrong. But at the same time, who am I to put my hands on somebody? I had already apologized to Ray, and I felt that I should take responsibility for what I did. Even though this followed the Ravens’ suggested script, I owned my words.
I was extremely surprised and angry that the Ravens released him, because they know him. They were our family, but I felt like the Ravens completely disregarded the past six years with him. Anytime the Ravens needed someone for a community event, Ray was their man. It seemed like a knee-jerk reaction for publicity reasons.
I still find it hard to accept being called a “victim.” I know there are so many different opinions out there about me — that I’m weak, that I’m making excuses and covering up abuse — and that some people question my motives for staying with Ray.

[From ESPN.com]

*Huge sigh* I don’t have much to add. Every DV situation is different, yet I do see Janay as a victim (who has chosen to stay with her abuser). It’s hard to believe that Ray’s attack on her was an isolated incident, but that’s the story coming from the united Rice front. This feels like a big PR hustle to get Ray back on the field, and once again, ESPN is complicit in protecting Ray. I’d love to know what Hannah Storm thinks of these new developments.

P.S. Janay and Ray invited Matt Lauer into their home for another interview that will air Monday and Tuesday on Today. I’ll cover it if anything noteworthy happens.

Photos courtesy of Getty & WENN

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133 Responses to “Janay Rice to ESPN: ‘I still find it hard to accept being called a victim’”

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  1. Esmom says:

    Heavy sigh here too. I am just floored at her version of events, it’s just one rationalization after another. So sad.

    • ncboudicca says:

      that’s my reaction, too. Very sad for her. I hope he never turns on their child.

    • Josephine says:

      The real issue to me is that her constant excuses for this man may make other women question whether they are really being maltreated when their boyfriends/husbands beat them, or whether it is their fault. She needs to make her own decision to stay or go, and live with those consequences, but I just wish she wouldn’t speak a word.

      • Tristan says:

        She loves his paycheques & living the bling lifestyle too much to dump him, as he clearly deserves. Nobody should accept physical violence from their partner. The second your partner hits you, you should pack your bags & go immediately. If you accept it once it will happen again.

      • CK says:

        @Tristan I understand that you dont agree with her actions, but reducing a victim down to essentially a gold digger is disgusting. Janay Rice is not the first, and she will not be the last victim to stay with her abuser and testimonials from victims have shown that the reasons behind it are far more complex than just money.

      • Petee says:

        Tristan I agree.She loves the lifestyle and he comes with it.The one thing wrong is she is not coming out and saying the truth.There is no question in my mind they fight all the time and this is probably a everyday thing for them.She is controlled by the NFL.That is where she is a victim.She is not a victim in the traditional sense where she has no money or place to go.I am not saying she is a gold digger but she seems to have accepted this.For now.

    • Ladybird83 says:

      All of this is about fear. Neither one of these ass clowns want to be poor. So they are dancing and crying and trying hard to put on a good show. And it will work. Ray Rice will play again. Look at Michael Vick. Stay dumb America!

      • zinjojo says:

        ^^ Ladybird, you’ve nailed it. This is about fear of losing the big NFL paycheck.

      • Esmom says:

        That is the explanation I keep coming back to. The other one is more sinister, that she is just so frightened and beaten down that she is incapable of seeing the situation objectively.

        In any case, I think Josephine above has a very valid point — what might other women take from this statement that could make them start to make excuses for being victims of DV themselves? Scary.

      • wolfpup says:

        Yes, Janae would be out of her money too! I had three children under 4 years, and when I was in a position to leave to leave my abusive husband, I did. It was an honest to God trade-off in my mind (until I could support them). Janae is in denial. It is self-destructive to stay for money. My ex-husband left me no choice, although I did not leave until I had the ability to take care of my children. Divorce was still like a bomb in our lives.

      • FLORC says:

        Ofcourse it is. IF he was truly sorry he wouldn’t have had Janay publicly claim it was her fault. That shows he hasn’t understood what HE did wrong here. And now it”s time to hustle so he doesn’t lose that limited time NFL money.

        That no fault has been admitted to on his part is troubling and no team should sign him. He’s a PR timebomb.

        As far as her saying things get touch in relationships and post baby? Yea, it does. Relationships are work. You are 2 individuals that love eachother. Not 2 units of the same mind. You will disagree. That’s no excuse why he knocked her out. There’s just no excuse.

      • ncboudicca says:

        wolfpup: I am glad you were able to get out of your situation!

      • amunet says:

        I don’t know. I believe that the life-time ban was excessive. There are worst criminal actions from players that were still able to play. I didn’t understand why he had to lose his job and livelihood, that doesn’t do anything but look like good PR for the team. There is a player right now who killed someone, yet he is still allowed to play and make money and do what he has trained to do. I didn’t know that domestic violence crime meant men, and or women, automatically lose their job. I think domestic violence is wrong, I think he should be punished but this choice by the NFL seemed so off as well.

      • Petee says:

        Ladybird83 you hit the nail on the head.The NFL make me sick.Anyone that does something wrong pays a small price and gets to play again.I am a big animal activist and Michael Vick should never been allowed to play ever!As for these two they both stick it out because of what it can give to them.My Mom’s first husband hit her and she had two kids at the time but she packed and left.She had no money,nothing.This was in the fifties.She worked two jobs a day until she met my Dad.These people make me sick with there greed.Just wait till he can’t play anymore and see how this all changes.

      • AntiSocialButterly says:

        Wouldn’t you like to ask her if it is all worth the Rolex? She looks so miserable, and seriously stressed out. Look at the vein standing out in her neck…high blood pressure during that interview, I’d bet. :/

    • Wren says:

      What bothers me (besides the obvious), is WHO green-lit this interview? Who decided that THIS was a good thing to have out there in the media? It doesn’t make Rice look any better or the “incident” less disturbing. Who thought that instead of, say, Rice apologizing and saying he’s deeply regretful and taking anger management courses or something like that, they trotted HER out to apologize for having the gall to be knocked out by her husband! WTF???

      She was instructed to do this, and it probably was some kind of PR committee decision. And nobody in the room thought this was a bad idea. Like it totally wasn’t a woman rationalizing the abusive behavior of her partner and making excuses.

      • eulalie says:

        Exactly! I was hoping that these interviews would allow her in some way to reclaim her power, but no.

      • AntiSocialButterly says:

        That is exactly what I said to my hubby. A big, fat damage-control check from the NFL- the shareholders/owners via Goodell, no doubt. It is truly sickening.

      • melain says:

        Great point. And it’s a common theme. Somehow the bad behavior of a man is the fault of a woman. Started with the very first man. It’s b.s. but a lot of people buy it. As ladybird83 wrote up thread: stay dumb America.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      I find the insight into her thinking very interesting, and hope that it can provide some insight into why people stay in violent domestic relationships. I hope that a team WILL take him on, and that in his contract it is written that his presence on the team is contingent on the requirement that he engages in consistent, frequent counselling, anger management, negotiation skills, and mentorship to other men in sports who have a history with domestic violence. I think Janae should also be required to participate in order to increase their collective health and skill development in creating a healthy environment.
      I’m also not going to jump on her for owning her role. She didn’t deserve to be abused in any way, but she should have kept her hands to herself. My sister was in an emotionally abuse marriage for a couple years and left, and all that is discussed is how horrible he was to her. But she was also incredibly difficult (still is) and antagonistic. I wish she would own up to contributing to the toxicity in their relationship.

  2. Dorothy#1 says:

    She is like many abuse victims who refuse to leave their abuser. Maybe she doesn’t feel like she has the resources, maybe she is afraid for her life and her families if she left or maybe she thinks she can change him. I’m sad for her and I hope someday she gets out of this situation.

    • Lucky says:

      This is my fear as well. I’m not saying she has to be an outspoken role model but if she doesn’t feel like a victim, she shouldn’t say it to the press.

    • homegrrrl says:

      This has evolved the DV dialogue at least. Most women stay or return for one main concern
      – resources.
      Combine this with low self-esteem and the cycle continues.

  3. Frida_K says:

    It’s strange, the things we rationalize.

    Myself, as a teenager…I had a boyfriend who ALL the girls wanted. Sooooo handsome and charming… Well, we had a fight and he slammed my head against the wall. He took my face/ears in each hand and just banged the back of my head against the wall, hard. I was shocked but made excuses. The next big fight, he shoved me so hard that I fell to the pavement hard enough to take skin off my arm from wrist to elbow.

    I broke up with him after that. I had never grown up in a house where physical abuse was the norm so I was genuinely shocked and not willing to wait and see what fight number three would bring.

    He went on to date other girls that I knew, and I know he beat one of my friends pretty badly and I know that he broke another girl’s arm.


    Myself, I grew up in a home with psychological abuse and yes, I’ve stayed in relationships that were the psychological equivalent of the first big fight ending with my head slammed against the wall and the second with a bloody arm and the third even worse and so on…

    Lots of therapy helped with this, what else can I say? I do my best.

    What is it in this young woman’s life that makes her able to rationalize and justify?

    How can we all learn to do better than this?

    I understand where she’s coming from but it’s saddening. I hope that the attention this brings causes them to get therapy and maybe, just maybe, causes her and other abuse victims to start questioning the unhealthy norms that shaped them.


    • FLORC says:

      It’s sadly so common. And at least you got out before worse happened.

      I think there’s a silver lining here. Janay’s statements blaming herself with Rice appearing to approve and have the most to gain speaks volumes. The public might be dumb without decent short memories. In time Rice may be able to convince us he’s not the bad guy he is. Until then we see an abuser sitting silently beside his wife that we all saw him abuse as she makes excuses for him. This is bringing DV to the public discussion again. Good.

    • INeedANap says:

      I am sorry that happened to you, and it’s great you’re getting help. Intimate relationships are supposed to make like better, not worse.

  4. The other paige says:

    The cycle of abuse….sad…SHE is apologizing again??
    The way he kicked her after she was out cold showed what he is made of…
    She better get use to being called a victim. That is what she is and IT will get worse.

  5. ennie says:

    “He told me he was terrified because security was there.”

    What else to say is there?

  6. I feel like she is scrambling and saying whatever she can so that, in HIS mind, that it’s not on her. That he knows that she isn’t the *enemy*, that it’s the MEDIA. I think that she is under enormous pressure not just from him and the media, but from his and her family (that I heard didn’t like her AT ALL)–and you never know if her family is the type to tell her to support her man because of fame and $$, or if it’s because it’s a life cycle…..it’s just a sad situation.

    And I definitely think that this is probably an ongoing cycle with her, and her family–maybe I’m projecting a bit, but that’s what happened with my mom’s side of the family. She had never wanted to get married (and did not get married until her mid thirties), because she had never seen a good relationship–let alone one of husband and wife. She had always planned to have her kids, and raise them by herself (or, rather she expected it, no matter what relationship she was in). Because all she saw was violence. She had one aunt whose boyfriend would knock 3 or 4 teeth out at a time, and she would always leave him, and go back to him shortly.

    • Frida_K says:

      That was exactly my point. People get groomed by their family dynamics to go along with things that would shock someone not accustomed. Some people, like it sounds your mom did, resist and make every effort to do something else. A lot of people (myself included) go along with the dysfunctional patten and (at least I think) desperately need therapy if they want to learn other ways of dealing with things. And others don’t even question, they just keep on with the pattern.


      • wolfpup says:

        So embarrassing, but I’ll say it anyway. After leaving my first marriage of 10 years, I remarried and my new husband hit me too! He said it was because I let my first husband hit me. I tried again with a number three – and he was the scariest of all. I just stopped marrying men – 20+ years now. Nobody else has ever hit me (although my dad was brutal with my mother’s blessing). I don’t know what is wrong with me; I am a nice and accomplished woman. What makes them feel that they can do that to me?! Why does all of their brutality have to mean that there is something wrong with me?!

        Reading this stuff just makes me cry.

      • INeedANap says:

        Wolfpup! None of this is your fault. At the point wejere someone hits their partner, it is the abuser’s decision only. I kept dating emotionally abusive men for years. I eventually realized I was drawn to them because that’s what felt familiar. Big hugs. (<3)

      • FLORC says:

        And it can be neither grooming or lack of support. The victim might be ashamed to tell anyone. They have the resources and support to leave. They just can’t bring themselves to drop the happy family image. Even if they’re the only person still buying that lie. To admit failure is too great.

        I knew someone like that. We all knew what was happening. She just couldn’t bring herself to leave him. He would yell at her near us and her only words would be something to the likes of “not here”. That it would reflect negatively on the image she wanted sending. Yell at me at home, but keep up appearances here.
        Too much time was invested and she thought on the outside her homelife looked perfect. All that went into that farce would have been a waste if she ended it. That was the reasoning anyways.

        I feel for this woman.

      • Frida_K says:

        Wolfpup, get therapy!

        I TOTALLY know how you feel…I often wonder why I attract men who abuse me psychologically. A guy will roll out a certain type of emotional abuse and I just shut down and go along with it like a zombie. Even with lots of therapy, it’s still work to not let myself be abused this way in relationships. I have to work hard and I have lots of scars from my childhood even now. I am doing better and better with every relationship, but it takes mindfulness and a level of self-love that I had to work to achieve.

        You can do it, too!

        It’s not our fault and as long as we keep trying to learn and do better, we have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with you, Wolfpup. Nothing!


      • FLORC says:

        Wolfpup, your story is heartbreaking, but strong. Good for you. It’s tough, but you’re doing so well! And you have to remember that you’re just as worthy of a healthy relationship as we all are. And thank you for sharing!


      • wolfpup says:

        Thank you wonderful people! There’s “nothing wrong with you wolfpup – nothing” – makes me feel so good. I wanted to share with you what I *did* do, besides leaving these men: I returned to the university to get a degree in Women’s Studies. There’s nothing like interacting with that material to be able to find yourself as a whole woman and complete human being. I still do not look for men, but heh, three marriages and I’m out! I’m tired of trying to get along!

        Thanks again, everyone…my tears are over with your kindness. I definitely love women, and this is one of the best reasons why.

      • Frida_K says:

        Wolfpup, I am so happy to read of your accomplishments!

        Here is another big hug for you:


        And many wishes for joy in your life.


      • snowflake says:

        @ wolfpup

        there is nothing wrong with you. you did not deserve those assholes. it is NOT your fault. sorry you had to go through that. but there are nice guys out there, do not give up on relationships. like others said, therapy will help. i want you to find a man who will treat you well, you deserve it!

      • jenn12 says:

        Wolfpup and Frida, do NOT blame yourselves. Use the information to become very aware of the pattern of behavior of the men in your lives. Blaming yourselves is counterproductive and just plain wrong. Try to act from instinct instead of impulse- if someone feels wrong, acts off, whatever, kick them to the curb. Do not waste time blaming yourselves for the actions of others.

      • melain says:

        Aww. Wolfpup. Hugs to you. Nothing is wrong with you. You never deserved or caused any abuse. No behavior is deserving of abuse. I get that it seems like it after repeated bad experiences. Like Frida K suggests, I encourage you to try talk therapy. Know that your cyber sisters know what we’re talking about. It’s not you. Thank you for being brave enough to share. I encourage you to take another brave step and find a counselor you feel comfortable with.

    • Cannibell says:

      Jumping on the Hugs to Wolfpup train. It took me years after leaving Abuser #1 to figure out what those guys looked like or how they read, with lots of therapy and an ocean of tears shed along the way.

      My #3 (#2 was great until he decided he’d rather be parented than be a partner, which caused a whole different set of issues) is lovely, but I don’t think I would have had the self-esteem or courage to be with him Back in the Day.

      I’m glad you’re not being mistreated anymore. Keep being kind to yourself. As for Janay Rice, she’s stuck in a situation she’s not ready yet to examine. There’s nothing the rest of us can do but learn from it and if she ever decides she deserves better, try not to judge her too harshly for having seen so much earlier what she didn’t.

    • eulalie says:

      Wolfpup, Frida and others, please don’t blame yourselves. Instead blame the bastards out there who target and groom women that they can victimize. I know it’s just a different way of stating it, but I would rather blame the abusers.

  7. cmc220 says:

    This is heartbreaking, she even admits that she tried to grab his phone and his reaction was to SPIT ON HER. If that isn’t a clear sign that he has no respect or love for her idk what is. Wait, yes I do. Knocking her out cold and kicking her while shes unconscious. That might be one too. Smh.

    • Jadzia says:

      I don’t know why I even read about this case. It makes me weepy and nauseous, having grown up with a mother who stayed. She died recently, and still when I think of her, the first image that pops into my mind is her lying on the kitchen floor, screaming, while my stepfather kicked her in the head. More than 30 years ago.

  8. AustenGirl says:

    I can’t believe a female arbitrator called the suspension “arbitrary” and an “ABUSE of discretion.” What a horrible ruling! What the hell was she thinking?!?

    • Nik says:

      As much as I would LOVE for RR to never play again this was the right ruling. Goodell had the tape before the world saw it. I don’t believe that TMZ got the tape and somehow the NFL couldn’t get it. He decided to protect his players and make Janey apologize at a press conference and give some bullshit “punishment”. Remember when this all happened Janey was forced into a meeting wth the NFL and Eagles execs with Ray. So you know they did that to get alllll the stories straight before they went public. They just didn’t count on that second video.
      You can’t punish him twice…the legal court can’t even do that. Goodell just got caught being an idiot and he tried to shift the blame and appease the public. It’s not about personal feelings when it comes to cases.
      Unfortunately Janey sounds like every other DV victim that stays with their abuser. And no this was not the first time. You don’t just knock your gf out in public if you’ve never laid hands on her before. The cycle continues

      • amunet says:

        @Nik and Bjf I completely agree with you. This isn’t about domestic violence. The original ruling went overboard.

    • Bjf says:

      It was the right decision based on the rules and the application of those rules. This decision does not weigh in on domestic violence, only the application of the rules of the NFL at that time. The Arbitrator is supposed to be neutral. Gender should not play a role in the decision.

    • Tig says:

      “The abuse of discretion” refers to Goddell’s action in suspending him after previously giving him a two game suspension for this same heinous act. She is not excusing the underlying violence at all. The bigger question as it relates to the NFL- why was this grotesque act of violence only deemed worthy of a two game suspension initially?

      As for her interviews- whoever thought this was a good PR move is nuts.

      • AustenGirl says:

        Thanks to everyone for explaining the justification of the ruling. I don’t follow the NFL, so I didn’t have context for understanding beyond what I read above. I am simply tired of abusive men getting away their crimes. The wife’s lengthy explanation of the events leading to her own assault plays right into the “b!tch deserved it” trope that society buys into, enabling abusers and re-framing the reality of the victims.

      • Bridget says:

        Because there was already a system in place to deal with violations such as these, and Goodell went above and beyond to punish Rice at his own discretion. Remember, there are contracts and collective bargaining agreements that outline infractions and punishments. Goodell can’t just dole out extra punishments as he pleases.

    • I think that the arbitrator meant that Ray Rice was suspended because of the media uproar, not because he abused his wife. He’s not the first NFL player (or any other sports player) to abuse, cheat on, rape,etc his wife/other women. They suspended him because he got some bad press….not because he beat his wife. At least that’s what I think they meant.

      • Scarlet Vixen says:

        @VC: Actually, the arbitrator is only referring to Goodell’s going against the Collective Bargaining Agreement and doling out his own punishment which was beyond his authority. It actually has nothing to do with the aftermath, media attention, etc. It’s simply that the players all belong to a worker’s union, and the union and NFL have a contract that includes agreements on things like infractions, punishments, number of games in a season, insurance, etc. When Goodell decided to suspend Rice indefinitely he violated the agreement between the Player’s Union & the NFL. The union’s job is to protect the rights of employees, and they don’t take well to “the Man” breaking the rules, even when it’s for a creep like Ray Rice because it can set a precedent.

    • swack says:

      I couldn’t believe that either. I read about this on another site and could not read it all. She is in denial. My oldest was in a relationship at 16 in which the guy was slowly making the relationship to be just the two of them. She decided to end it and he threatened to get a shot gun and kill her and her entire family. I asked a cop friend if he could do that (he wasn’t 18) and he said anyone at the time could get a shot gun. We called the police and they went and talked to him and luckily it ended the threats. When Janay ends up in a coma or worse dead – who are they going to blame?

      • Bridget says:

        Remember when Jovan Belcher did just that? He killed his girlfriend (who was the mother of his 3 month old daughter) and then shot himself at the Chiefs facility, in front of 2 of his coaches. And in the aftermath there was WAYmore discussion of Belcher and how sad it was for the Chiefs than what he did.

    • J-G says:

      It’s because the NFL screwed up the first time. You can’t punish a guy a second time for the same thing just because you’re getting bad press about the way you handled it. I believe NFL knew what happened in the elevator the first time around. They tried to cover it up and the arbitrator said no.

  9. original kay says:

    She hit him as well?

    it’s not ok, for either of them to be abusing each other. She admits to hitting him, more than once. Men can be victims of abuse as well.
    Equal rights go both ways. Their relationship sounds extremely dysfunctional, from both parties.

    • Kiddo says:

      Are you kidding? He knocked her lights out. That’s like saying a 5 year old started a fight and deserved to be cold-cocked for hitting Mike Tyson first. Yes, they are both dysfunctional and no one should be hitting anyone, but the ratio of strength and power is significantly skewed here in his favor.

      • original kay says:

        No, I am not kidding.

        I realize my opinions are in the minority. I don’t find it ok for any person to hit another, whatever the gender or strength. I don’t think it makes either of them a victim. I think they both need anger management and to distance themselves from each other.

        Your analogy, though dramatic, is irrelevant. We are discussing 2 adults with resources, not a 5 year old on a playground.

      • Exactly. I do think that if you hit someone, don’t be surprised when they hit you back. BUT there are ways to react. Especially when you’re a huge football player vs. a woman. There are a number of ways he could’ve reacted, and NONE of them involved hitting her so hard that she passed out, spitting on her, dragging her out of the hotel elevator like trash, OR not even trying to help her get up (which would’ve been my immediate reaction if I had knocked someone out on accident, whether or not I meant to hurt them).

        I think women should be taught that they don’t have to take abuse from someone who ‘loves’ them and that they deserve more than that, AND I think that women should be taught to keep their hands and their fluids to themselves. I think that men should be taught that ‘real’ men keep their hands and fluids to themselves, that they deserve a relationship where both partners love and respect each other and DON’T hit each other, AND that they should be aware of their general strength and power over a woman.

      • original kay says:

        Let me put it this way.

        When I am having a bad day, or things don’t go as I planned, I don’t take it out on my husband. I don’t take it out on anyone. She admits to being upset all day long, and it seems to me she is without the resources to monitor her own behaviours. She is responsible for that. Her inability to effectively communicate how she is feeling is her responsibility. If she doesn’t own to her part, the aforementioned, she won’t grow and mature for HER sake and benefit.

        No one deserves to be hit.

      • original kay says:

        @ VC

        Agreed. Dysfunction abounds in their relationship and it did not start at that moment in time, in the elevator.

      • Bridget says:

        Kiddo is right on this one. Abuse is an escalating pattern of violence and control. We don’t know what happened in the days and months previous to the incident that made J anay Rice’s first reaction to be to slap him. Saying “mutual abuse” minimizes the plight of survivors of domestic violence because you’re essessentially saying she deserved. ESPECIALLY since we’re getting her ‘damage control’ version of events.

      • otaku fairy says:

        Another example could have been a 30-year-old able-bodied athletic woman vs. an 80-year-old man. Say the 80-year-old man had slapped the 30-year-old athlete after she had spat on him, and then the athlete responded by brutally assaulting and knocking out the old man. They’re both adults, were wrong and should have known better. But the 30-year-old athlete would be looked at more harshly, and rightfully so- she knows that she’s the physically stronger being, that’s abuse of the elderly, she inflicted the most damage, and she provoked the incident by spitting on the old man to begin with. This is basically the same thing. It wasn’t a simple case of self-defense on Ray Rice’s part.

        That doesn’t mean being the physically weaker person in any type of relationship is an excuse to use physical violence to solve non-physical conflicts or to control/punish the stronger person for pissing you off, and it’s important that society holds people accountable in those situations too. But by spitting on her, the stronger person in this case was the first to assault and get physical.

    • Lia says:

      Watch the video. As with all violent crimes, relative use of force plays a central role in the assigning of blame and liability. If you haven’t seen the video, you’re making judgements without the relevant information. Of course men can be victims of domestic violence, of course hitting and otherwise physically assaulting your spouse is not ok. However, none of that appears to be applicable here.

    • Josephine says:

      He could have easily killed her with that one punch. She slapped at him; he brutally knocked her out cold. The differences in their strength is significant. I find your statement just sad – he is not a victim here. Men can be victims, but from their actions and her constant need to apologize and rationalize, it is obvious that he is no victim. He has more power in every single sense – physical, celebrity, money, etc. She needs counseling all right – counseling to rescue herself.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      @originalKay after listening to her rationality and how she is taking all blame away from him I wouldn’t be surprised if she is lying about what happened during the day as well as who hit who first and when it all actually started. Without getting into my own personal details I have dealt with years of DV first hand and can say that I have “changed” the story to protect my abuser ( and delude myself ) because there would have been major ramifications with his career and so forth. Not to mention I didnt want him angry because it would cause more issues. So to say this is a 100 per accurate portrait of the day is probably stretching it. She knows by saying she started it or she hit him first there are many that will blame her and not look at Ray as the violent monster he is. She’s “protecting” him to show her allegiance.

      • original kay says:

        That’s an excellent point; not knowing either of them I am basing my opinions on the provided information. I hope she gets the help she needs, and that he does as well.
        Thanks Tifygodess24

    • Observer says:

      He was spitting on her repeatedly before she hit him and that’s when he knocked her out.

    • Eleanor says:

      A lot of women who have been abused in a relationship long term can tell when her abuser is getting worked up and the abuse will soon begin. A survival mode is to do something to set him off just to get it over with. After abuse is a Honeymoon phase. The abuser will say, do, treat the victim as she deserves everyday! The victim of long term DV knows (senses) the cycles of abuse; the abuse cycle, followed by the Honeymoon cycle, then the tensions build up and the atmosphere in the home is thick with tension. That alone is so frightening that a victim will often lash out first as her only way of control over a terrifying situation that she doesn’t understand how much control, value, she actually does have. No one should put up with such a dysfunctional life. However, they do in all socio-economic classes, races, religions, standing in the community or not. DV can happen to anyone. But with better understanding, and awareness, of DV more women will be empowered to seek help and get out.
      Yes, men too can be victims of DV. It happens, and is on the rise in our society. It’s wrong!
      However, In this particular case, I highly doubt that Ray is a victim in any way. He is an abuser, 100%. Janaey IS the victim. We need to pray that she comes to this realization for herself and her child, before it’s too late.

  10. kri says:

    There aren’t enough sighs for this…good luck, Janay-you will need it. I hope next time (and there will be a next time) you are okay enough to leave. I would say I hope no team hires him, but…ha. It is the NFL. I’m sure he’ll be back soon.

    • Snazzy says:

      this is the first thing i thought of … now they are going to do some crazy PR and it’ll be all washed clean, and some stupid team will hire him again. I hate the NFL .. and if fans go back to cheering for him they are idiots too

  11. Masque says:

    I’ve watched that video a dozen times. Ray does not look like he is in shock or remorseful. I hope someday Janay is able to rewatch it and really see what happened and his real reaction to the situation because his words don’t match up to his actions.

  12. Merritt says:

    No one wants to think of themselves as a victim because being a victim is considered a terrible thing by society. So people go out of their way to excuse the actions of an abuser or criminal. The result is a culture where abusers feel free to continue to abuse because society essentially tells that it is okay to be an abuser because the real crime is being a victim.

  13. Miss M says:

    What I take dorm her statement is that they have a very dysfunctional relationship, which they think it is the norm and he was terrified because security was there (very telling). He should be terrified for knocking Her out.

  14. Izzy says:

    And a lot of us still find it very hard to watch that video of you getting the crap beat out of you while you are alreadly unconscious. So there.

    Girl, get help now, before he kills you.

  15. Snazzy says:

    Pffft, they’ll re hire him some where ( I hope not but my inner cynic says otherwise), then he’ll make the big bucks again. Something will happen at home, and he may even kill her this time…. this whole thing makes me so so sad

  16. LAK says:

    VC/SWACK: your comments are giving me de ja vu vis a vis Nicole Brown Simpson whose family and friends knew she was being abused, knew she had evidence of it (photos bruises) and convinced her every time to go back to OJ primarily because of the money which trickled out to them, not just Nicole.

    I couldn’t believe the crocodile tears at his trial when they’d all supported his abuse of their family member for years.

  17. Katrina says:

    “I asked him why he left me on the floor like that. I asked him how he felt when he saw that I was unconscious. He told me he was in shock.”

    I’ve watched the video. He is NOT in shock. If anything, he looks like that has happened before, and he’s used to it. I would even say the most shocking thing about the video is not the actual punch, but his total indifference to the situation after the punch.

    ” I asked him what happened when we got out of the elevator. He told me he was terrified because security was there.”

    Now, his response here is 100% accurate.

    • Anony says:

      I completely agree; his lack of any concern is very obvious. At no point does he check her breathing, examine her head, attempt first aid, call 911…nothing. He drags her completely non chalantly like it’s just the weekly trash bag. I way he has any remorse whatsoever other than being caught on camera.

  18. PrairieLilly says:

    This woman is in a sad situation BUT no one can make her leave him until she is ready. So weird that this incident didn’t stop the wedding! That’s creepy. Ray acted like a monster on video. Scary stuff.

  19. defaultgirl says:

    He spit on her. That’s when she slapped him the first time. I can’t blame her, especially with her drinking. I’d probably slap someone when I was sober for spitting on me. Ijs

    • Embee says:

      Exactly. I do not condone her behavior, but her “message” was “you shall not disrespect me, I will stand up for myself” while his was, “I will kill you if I feel like it.”

  20. captain hero says:

    This will not end well

  21. Jayna says:

    Slapping a man after he spit on you cannot even be compared to him knocking her out with such force it throws her back so hard she hit the elevator railing and was unconscious on the floor. And excuse him all you want, but the way he dragged her out, not concerned about her at all or appalled by what he had just done, just tells me it’s not the first time he’s hit her. He was just concerned that he did it in a public place and she had the audacity to be unconscious and how was he going to get her out of there and looked irritated dragging her out. Shock? LOL

    They’ve been together for six years and they can have each other. Plus, no one in the world believes they just happened to get married then. That engagement would have dragged on for a couple more years. They had no wedding plans before that. Then all of a sudden, a fast marriage after the indictment.

    You got him. What a prize. If she said they were in therapy about his anger issues and she wasn’t going to accept that kind of relationship and dealing together on communication, I would have respected her more and even him if he really came clean on wanting to be a better man in how he dealt with past violent behavior, acknowledging it, not excusing it.

    I don’t really have a comment on his suspension being lifted one way or the other. I think there’s a lot of violent football players playing or who have been in a myriad of other offenses still playing. He just got caught and the worst part was on videotape to be replayed over and over, so he couldn’t sugarcoat it. At least, he paid a price somewhat when the video was revealed (before this suspension was lifted) compared to the first slap on the wrist.

    • Lex says:

      Likely married so she couldn’t be forced to testify against him, no? Surely a marriage made under such duress could be easily annuled

  22. Eleonor says:

    I haven’t even read all her statement.
    I am so sorry for her, she is in a very bad place in this moment from all the points of view.
    I hope she would be able to break this circle of violence one day.

  23. Overand Out says:

    its damage control for the million dollar paycheck.
    all it is.
    and the nfl runs these commercials with nfl players in closeup saying “no more violence” as if they are saying it to me.
    so offensive.
    they need to say it to themselves.

  24. Talie says:

    I came away from this interview knowing one thing for certain: This was not the first time she had been hit. Why? He spit on her. To me, that spoke volumes. That his first reaction, before the punch, was to spit on her shows that he has done that and worse before. He felt comfortable enough to disrespect her physically. Also, the drinking. They are both angry drunks, so there’s another clue. They’ve had physical fights before, no doubt.

  25. Ann says:

    We have got to raise women and men differently. Women seem to be socially conditioned and pressured to accept, expect and make excuses for the sh-tty things men do (violence, rape, selfishness) and men need to be taught what a REAL man is like, not the bullsh-t they see in rap videos, action movies and video games.

  26. Amelie says:

    “I had already apologized to Ray, and I felt that I should take responsibility for what I did,” states Janay. There is no mention of any DV counseling in this piece and given the attitudes reflected in the interview, I would wager that none is planned. DV has to be dealt with, it always get worse. It is a significant problem in the black community and among pro athletes and so far, I haven’t heard anyone say this publically. I agree with other posters that the PR machine is working on this. It sounds like Janay is more concerned with her meal ticket than getting knocked around. Thus, my sympathy for her is waning.

  27. aenflex says:

    She’s a fool for campaigning this way. Although it is a very safe assumption that this isn’t the first time, I felt sorry for her until this.
    She was acting out as well which leads me to believe they are both classless, immature idiots. Not that her behavior warranted a KO.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      She is a DV victim. It is totally normal for a victim to feel like she has to protect her abuser. She is not a “fool”, it is much more complicated than that. And for the acting out part, i don’t think her slap warranted her to be knocked out. If he slapped her back, i would agree with you. If you don’t want to get hit, don’t hit.

  28. anne_000 says:

    She admits that all he was thinking about in the elevator right after he hit her was himself. He was in shock. He was worried that the security guards might get him into trouble.

    You’d think that if he wasn’t so selfish, he’d have said he was worried about her and her injuries, especially to her brain since he sent her head flying into that railing.

    I don’t know if she’s stupid or if abuse is a natural way of life for her either from this relationship or from her past but I don’t see why else she doesn’t understand what his response meant. He was worried only about himself, not her.

    And her saying she can’t remember means that the punch and her head hitting the railing was really bad. Add this to how his initial reactions was to be concerned about himself doesn’t bode well for the future because it seems like his true nature is to be selfish and not have empathy.

  29. The Original Mia says:

    She is a victim of abuse whether she sees herself that way or not. The fact this letter places most of the blame on her actions and her rationalization of Ray’s behavior is evidence of that. It’s a sad situation.

  30. fan of angie says:

    No victims here, just greedy a*se-holes!

  31. Amy says:

    Supposedly there are already 4 teams sending out feelers about drafting him.

    Her comments give me shades of Rihanna, I think on some level we have to stop expecting comments from these women until they are psychologically in a position to honestly reflect on what’s happened to them.

    It seems to me that they often give cloudy conflicting statements and don’t really provide any good for abused women at large (not that they have to) but while forced into the position to say something they often end up only feeding into the dialogue of ‘acceptable’ abuse.

    First love – both fighting – I hit him too – alcohol – I apologize

    The worst part of it is because of the screwed up system Ray has escaped punishment…and I have to support that because Roger Goodell knows he saw the tape and knew exactly what had happened.

    As for Janay…I wish her luck. I can’t pretend to know what’s going on in her head and only hope she doesn’t end up dead or teaching her destructive message to her daughter. Otherwise this choice is her own and she will have to live with it. If it’s for love or money either way it’s not worth the cost.

  32. eulalie says:

    It’s upsetting to hear her making excuses for him and putting the blame on herself. While a woman shouldn’t hit a man, men are, as a whole, a lot stronger than women and can do way more damage. He shouldn’t have hit back.

    The judge reinstated him basically because of double jeopardy. He had already been punished and they couldn’t change the rules and re-punish him. Plus the whole “we didn’t really know what happened until the tape came out” was determined BS. The ruling was just straight up legalities.

    She’s right. The NFL just cares about what they can get out of you. It’s a business not a family, whatever they may say.

    He will play again. Like I said. It’s a business and if he can produce on the field, that’s all that matters. Look at Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger.

    I’m a football fan and I believe that by and large football players are decent men. There are around 1800 players on rosters. They’re not all Peyton Manning, but they’re not all Ray Rice, either.

  33. pixienvegas 702 says:

    I’m proud to say that I have the same thought about this situation after I was a victim of DV and before. He hit me, tried to smother me, and then left. For me, once is all it took for me to kick his ass to the curb. Doesn’t matter how sorry he is, if a “man” hits you, he will do it again. Doesn’t matter if he doesn’t remember what happened or not…

  34. harleyb says:

    If that is what Ray Rice does in response to a disagreement so insignificant that neither can remember what started it, imagine what he does when he’s pissed off.

  35. Nymeria says:

    My opinions, for whatever they’re worth:

    1. That was not an isolated incident. No way in hell.

    2. These two sound incredibly immature. No adult coping mechanisms anywhere in sight. Which is completely typical for DV relationships.

    3. Janay Rice is an adult who can leave at any time. Their child is helpless in this situation and literally dependent on them for survival. The true victim here is the kid. Janay is apparently more than willing to raise an innocent kid with a psychopath, which does not indicate a healthy, mature, rational attitude toward parenting.

    4. There’s a lot of money involved. Money is a hell of an incentive for someone to stay in a DV situation.

    5. No sympathy from me for anyone here except the kid.

    • eulalie says:

      You’re right about the child. I always say that two adults can have whatever relationship they want, but when you involve a child, that changes things.

  36. Peppa says:

    This story has always been upsetting to me because I met Ray Rice on four separate occasions during charity events and he was very nice and caring around children. He was very close with a family friend’s son Ashton who has a very rare and deadly disorder. I never thought he was capable of this. The NFL and the Ravens screwed up by trying to cover this up and only giving him a two game suspension. I think Ray Rice told them the truth and they chose to cover up the facts. You guys can choose not to believe that, but I do. That is why this was over turned. The NFL is a greedy and corrupt organization, but it will never take the heat because not enough people will boycott to make a dent. I feel bad for Janay and that she feels she is solely to blame. I also think speculation from the peanut gallery makes it even worse. It’s fun to gossip about celebs, but some of the speculation (even on here) is hurtful and harmful.

    • Veronica says:

      The man who abused my sister for two years was training to be a police officer. What I learned from watching that experience go on was that abusers are superb liars. They know how to compartmentalize their lives so that the persona they portray publicly reflects none of the violence of their internal lives. It’s some really scary sh*t.

  37. Ellis Alter says:

    It isn’t just her husband that is victimizing her, the couples’ handlers, and the NFL, are helping her blame herself; if they told her not to publically take responsiblity, she wouldn’t. The NFL probably thinks it helps exonerate them for their lack of proper response to his actions; it wasn’t just him, she was culpable also. If you know anything about abusers and the abused, you know the abuser is all about placing blame to justify the abuse, and after a while, the abused becomes brainwashed into believing they are to blame for their husband’s cheating, the lies he tells, the physical violence, too much milk in his cereal, the sun rising in the east. Apologizing for asking for it becomes rote. Whatever she is taking responsiblity for in public, she is taking unspeakable abuse for, literally, in private, and that you can take to the bank. He is livid that his fat paychecks have disappeared, but luckily, he can take it out on her, with the help of everyone in their very twisted world.

  38. Veronica says:

    A++ job media. Let’s give victims of domestic violence all the more reason to believe their abusers that everything is their fault. The NFL can kiss goodbye any future support they wanted from me.

  39. Prettykrazee says:

    Janay Rice will tell her daughter that “…it was wrong….but people make mistakes and you have to learn from them.” So her getting knocked out was a mistake that she needed to learn from?

    Janay Rice parents standing next to the man that not only knocked their daughter out, but spat on her and also kicked her when she was unconscious.


    This is so upsetting. Two generations and maybe a third of a family accepting of domestic violence. Hopefully Janay will learn she wasn’t to blame for any of this and breaks free.

  40. yep says:

    He spit in her face. Just because she tried to touch his phone. Thats assault and shows how he felt about her, which is hateful, disgust and no respect for her as a human being.
    She had every right to retaliate. And it escalated, resulting in him KNOCKING HER OUT, which she couldnt do unless she had a brick. As for her bewilderment over the publics outrage, thats what you get when you raise a young lady with no introspect, inability to stand up for herself and backing HER up, self worth limited to a mirror, and money has more value than her as a person.
    Where are her parents in this? You know they saw that security clip, and what kind of parent would stand by and witness an impromptu marriage soon after? This is absolutely disgusting.
    It also hurts women caught up in this type of situation, as it would be seen as why get away? Stand by your man…Janay did…bullshit.

    • wolfpup says:

      What’s worse (?), is that men will look at Ray Rice’s “punishment” and feel entitled, in all of their he-man ways in domestic relationships. My 1st husband hit me because the immigrant next door hit his wife and my ex thought, gee, that’s a great way to win an argument. My 2nd husband said that he hit me because I “let” the 1st one. My 3rd husband, well, he just knew that was an historically acceptable way to deal with me in relationships. The curious thing about this string of assault on my person, is that these husbands used each other to justify their behavior – as will other men who are watching their hero Rice, get away with DV wherein the accountability is zero and anti-female. It doesn’t matter what Janae says, as she still is not aware of her victimization from a DV standpoint – do these men know anything about DV? Where are the feminists? – they should be making a stink! Also, the men in charge of the NFL,, need to man up to protect women and children. He must be a valuable player – but what a valuable lesson he could have taught *all men*, if he were made a true example of what happens when you commit a crime against a woman. Somehow these commissioners seem to be saying that it really isn’t so bad; she woke up. But it is, I worried that I might accidentally be killed.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Yes, these men DO know about domestic violence and more than the average man. They are required to complete “ethics training” before signing their contract – a contract which specifically stipulates unacceptable behaviors including drugs, DV, poor sportsmanship, etc. They are taught what DV is, it is defined, explained, and examples made. They know exactly what it is and that they cannot do it if they’re going to sign that contract. The Ravens could have fired him immediately simply for breach of contract.

  41. rose says:

    Her expression says it all. She’s a victim alright.

    Nobody said it would be easy to get out and start over. She just doesn’t want to make a better life for herself because she’s trying to think he won’t hit her again. Most abusers repeat themselves, and the violence escalates.

    • imp says:

      I feel like everyone who is commenting is just ignoring everything she said. she knows she is going to be dealing with backlash and is bloody sick of being victimized when there are women who are TRULY abused and being ignored because this woman and her husband were both intoxicated and got into a stupid, violent argument. she owns up and instead of moving on and focusing on a real issue its NO SHE IS A VICTIM POOR THING POOR POOR THING. so bloody frustrating.

  42. Janayisblind says:

    The punch in the face was unforgivable……the(Janay words-gentle) kicking of Janay when she was down and out to “get up” , “when she says he was in shock and worried about her, was not the act of a man who loves the woman he punched in the face and basically left on the ground as trash and tried to push aside so he could leave the elevator and was confronted by caring people worried about Janay laying sprawled down and out. That just says to me he doesn’t care one bit about her. I know people who are just friends and would never treat a friend like that let alone a person they “supposedly love” like that. I pray for each and every person involved in domestic violence. Today now more than ever the help is there.

  43. Greta says:

    Well, when he kills her, she won’t be called a victim anymore, she’ll just be another statistic.

  44. J Rosen says:

    >”Every DV situation is different, yet I do see Janay as a victim (who has chosen to stay with her abuser).”

    I like how you, and most everyone else commenting here, are overlooking the fact that she hit him first… But I suppose that is okay, because she is a woman?

    • udum says:

      Technically, his spitting on her was the first assault. She hit him after.

    • Veronica says:

      Nobody is defending her slapping him. Most domestic abuse cases aren’t that clean cut because even the most oppressed victim have their breaking points and will strike back. The difference is the degree of violence. He instigated a fight by spitting on her. She slapped him. He punished her aggression by hitting her so hard she was knocked backwards, hit a hand rail, then sustained a serious enough head injury to be knocked physically unconscious. (And despite what movies tell you, being knocked unconscious for more than a few seconds can be *very* dangerous and indicative of serious trauma.) THAT is the difference.

      Either way, there is nothing healthy about that relationship. If the relationship is mutually abusive, it’s STILL an abusive relationship and should be separated, particularly if there are any children who could be impacted by it.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      It’s not okay that she slapped him and she could’ve and probably shoud have been charged with domestic violence right along with him. That said, the law clearly states that a person has a right to defend themselves against another person only to the degree necessary to protect themselves. Ray Rice should have walked away or even slapped back but only as hard as she slapped him. You don’t seem to accept that a man can do more physical damage to a woman than she can to him – with bare hands, and we’re talking about an NFL football player. He’s huge. She’s small. Come on! You know better.

    • imp says:

      BLESS I missed this comment under all the crap comments saying AWW POOR VICTIM! Feminists never take no for an answer. sad isnt it? you specifically tell them you are NOT a victim and have taken equal part but oh one is a football player so we are gonna judge how he, in an inebriated state, should have reacted, and say he used too much strength and oh he shouldve done this and that. You stand there and get hit TWICE by the love of your life, while both of you are incredibly intoxicated, and see how bloody well you react. i cannot believe how much feminists are victimizing this woman instead of allowing her to be held accountable as her husband has, bless ya for having the balls/ovaries to make that comment

  45. imp says:

    she actually comes out and speaks out about this so truthfully and you disgustingly still label her that against her own, clearly stated, wishes. This is very sad that the man is demonized so when she readily admits she took an equal part in this horrible incident that they made it through, as a strong couple. They seem that much stronger to me. I really think you should reconsider this and not just write it off as another woman staying with an abuser. These situations are FAR from black and white. I am so frustrated with the constant victimizing of women on this site. It is getting out of hand and making me more apt to go to other sites for this information. At times I’d rather spend my money on the magazines.

    • Veronica says:

      That’s because HER BEHAVIOR REFLECTS THE TYPICAL SIGNS OF A DOMESTIC ABUSE VICTIM. There isn’t any agency found in rationalizing your husband knocking you out and implying you are to blame for it. Any domestic violence resource will tell you that the victims are trained by their abusers to take responsibility for their actions, even defend and justify them. These are basic red flags listed in defining an abuse cases. I understand that she’s humiliated, but her dismissal of the idea that she’s a victim has nothing to do with agency. It’s a sign of DENIAL.

      • imp says:

        or its a sign that they both realize they both screwed up and she wants to own that instead of letting the blame fall solely on her husband. i understand this is a pattern for some women but it is not necessarily for all. They are both to blame for this and its good they are both owning up. People should really stop victimizing her.

      • Veronica says:

        Your comment still fails the recognize the contrast in the extent of the violence, not to mention the fact that the majority of this ordeal has been characterized by HER told in it, with Janay carrying the brunt of the blame, while Rice has been able to take a step back and let her run the hustle. Her slapping him isn’t excusable but that ignores his choice to instigate the conflict in the first place sand respond with extreme violence when he – surprise surprise – got a response for it.

        Mutually abusice relationships exist, but this does not reflect that reality. If this was really about both of them recognizing they have serious problems to work out, she wouldn’t be doing the brunt of the footwork. They would be unified team, taking equal responsibility for what happened. That’s not what we’re seeing here. Her entire defense of what happened reads like a textbook DM victim justification of abuse. As with most cases of DM, the issue is yet again defined by the primary victim and not the primary abuser.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Equal part? How does her slap equal his punch? Are you saying she can hurt him as much as he can hurt her? Sure, she should not have put her hands on him, but that still doesn’t make her equal in fault. She didn’t knock him out. HE COULD HAVE KILLED HER!!

      • imp says:

        Yeah I AM saying that. She instigated it. Are you saying this woman is not as capable as her male partner? Gee sounds kinda crappy. Women are strong, powerful, and can pack a helluva punch, it doesnt mean EITHER deserved it, it simply means that what happened, as per video evidenced, happened and they both OWNED UP TO IT. I dont understand what is so bloody difficult to grasp and after she comes out to SPECIFICALLY say this people still write it off and figure she’s a weak victim who simply nods her head and does what hubby wants. shows how highly y’all think of women here. yes he could have killed her, just like if she had landed a hit correctly he could have fallen out and DIED AS WELL. SHOCKER RIGHT? WOMEN BEING JUST AS DANGEROUS.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        But imp, Janay did NOT do what she was capable of doing.
        Yes, females can hurt and kill people, but lets not confuse what someone can do and what they did do. She showed some restraint, he showed none. He used potentially deadly force on her, she did NOT.

        Imp, I do not understand how you can act as if these two people were equals in this situation. One caused far greater harm than the other. She still can’t remember parts of the event, that is how hard she was hit! He walked away without any injuries.

      • imp says:

        ya cause she was WASTED. So was he. when you are under the influence you act and do things you would not normally and i doubt he had much control over his strength, as she had little over her own(as she has admitted she hit him twice first). he simply reacted to being abused and in his state it was far more volatile than her own. so because he hit second and harder its his fault and hes the sole abuser and no blame can be laid on her shoulders? do we not want equality? do we not want it to be understood that we can own up to our mistakes and that we mess up just as the opposite sex did in this situation? i do not understand why THAT is so hard to grasp. the man was clearly not sober and people do insane things theyd never dream of doing in these states. what really shows something to me is her solidarity with him, still speaking out, still trying to make it clear. and despite all she says people still want to call her a victim and not an equal partaker in this sad situation. it’s very pathetic, even on this chockfull feminist site the women are made to be weak little things who cant even put their story out right and have to be disregarded by OTHER WOMEN. Disgusting.

  46. udum says:

    People seriously downplay how easy it is to leave an abusive relationship. For all those who were able to leave after the first or second hit, congrats, but it doesn’t always work like that for other people and not just because they’re weak, pathetic, etc. Sometimes it’s because this is the shit he does when he’s in love with you and you’re by his side. If you leave, wtf do you think is going to happen?

    Seriously, this kind of discourse does not help victims. It helps keep them trapped. It costs you nothing to extend the benefit of the doubt, some kindness and some compassion to people who are struggling with something you aren’t. And even if you were in a dv situation and were able to get out, it doesn’t mean that your situation is the same. The most dangerous moment for a woman (and probably a man) in a dv situation is the moment she tries to leave. Sometimes men give up, but sometimes they hunt you down. It is fucking terrifying.

    I have two close friends who live(d) through abuse. One of them escaped her vicious husband only to begin to experience it from one of her sons. Her whole family discouraged her from leaving her husband and it was even worse when she tried to get help for her son. She turned to the institutionalized supports for help with her son while he was still young enough and they actively discouraged her from doing so. Her son stayed with his aunt for awhile, where he was rewarded with NBA games, etc. In the end, she got out by killing herself. She had other stresses too, but she was so overwhelmed and beat down that she couldn’t see any other way.

    My other friend has been seeking help for years. She does counseling, she’s gone to the domestic violence safety centers, etc, and she’s been offered a woeful lack of help. He has shown up looking for her with a bat when he thought she was lying to him and not actually at work when she was. This is while they’re still together. What the f do you think he’s going to do when she actually leaves? Oh, well he’s told her: He’s going to fucking kill her.

    There are different levels of dv. All of them are bad, but some abusers are worse than others. They’d rather scorch the earth and kill their partner than let them leave, and they threaten that very thing. It is terrifying. And it is hard to prove and it is hard to get help and there are so many things that can keep someone trapped in a situation like that. Acting like it’s so easy, like you’d be able to escape in a heartbeat, like anyone who stays is weak or pathetic or DESERVES it is so damned low and dirty-rotten. What would it cost you to refuse that discourse? Because he’s threatening to kill her, he hurts her when she stays, her family is unsupportive, and then she has to deal with a peanut gallery of assholes who minimize the sheer f***ing horror of her situation because it’s so damn easy to do so when it’s not your life on the f***ing line. Is it really that hard to exercise some fucking compassion and understanding? Honestly, how is that discourse anything other than (re)victimizing and abusive?

    Not to mention, the constant abuse and/or threat of abuse means that a body is constantly cycling through fight or flight, which makes it harder to think clearly and rationally. When you live in a constant state of fear and panic, your brain and body are constantly overtaxed and you basically live in lizard brain. It’s not a fault, it’s not a criticism, your body is trying to protect itself, but it makes it really f*ing hard to carefully consider and weigh your options.

  47. JenniferJustice says:

    Ugghhhh…so, now we know he made plans with his friends for Valentines Day – not his fiance, didn’t speak to her for three hours in the car, and spit on her when she grabbed his phone. Obviously this woman is so warped she doesn’t understand how troubling any one of those three things would be on it’s own, let alone together plus being all-out man punched in the head. She is definitely victim who’se simply chosen to stay with her abuser. Hope the lifestyle is worth it. Good luck to their child being raised under such ulterior motives and lack of priorities.

  48. SillySimone says:

    I’m just going to say this. Regardless of what came before the punch, if she cannot see with her own eyes that he treated her like a trash bag after she was knocked out, then she is lost entirely. Did he check if she was alive? Did he drop down to the floor and scream OMG? Did he hug her? did he call for help or call 911? No. He dragged her out like trash and dropped her on the floor, worried about the security coming for him, not about her well being. If she cannot see that – she cannot see herself laying on the floor like trash – then there is no reasoning. Good luck to her. But as with friends I have had who were being abused, there is only so much help or moral support someone can provide before one has to walk away.

  49. Vera says:

    What a sad interview.