(NEW YORK) — Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says he would give up his entire salary if an NFL team signs him this season.
The running back, out of football since his suspension during the 2014 season for striking his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator, made the promise in a story posted to the USA Today website.
“All the scrutiny that I’ve got, it was deserved,” Rice admitted, “because domestic violence is a horrible thing.”
The 29-year-old played six seasons in Baltimore and made three Pro Bowls. He was suspended indefinitely in September 2014 after video of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator surfaced. That suspension was later overturned by a neutral arbitrator, but Rice was released by the Ravens and no other team signed him.
“Me donating my salary is something that’ll be from the heart for me,” Rice told USA Today. “I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me.”
“But,” he said, “I know there’s a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It’s raising awareness.”
“I’m not saying I’d be [donating the salary] to get on the field,” Rice clarified, “but it’s something that will show where my heart is.”
“I think the biggest donation that you can give to domestic violence is your time,” Rice told USA Today. “I’m not just going to be giving it because I have money. I’m going to be giving it because I did the background and the research and spect a lot of time with people who understand the cause.”
Rice also pointed out that awareness is key to preventing domestic violence. “It’s an epidemic,” Rice said. “I know that my situation raised awareness. I’m not thankful for being that guy, but I’m thankful for the people that now are not afraid to ask for help, because I had to go get the help myself after to realize the severity of what domestic violence is.”
Rice and his now-wife Janay married soon after his indictment in the 2014 incident. They have a four-year-old daughter and a second child due in September.
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