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Ray Rice’s wife slams his punishment for knocking her out

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Posted at 10:05 AM, Sep 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 14:44:02-04

(CNN) – Janay Rice, wife of suspended NFL player Ray Rice, apparently posted a statement Tuesday on Instagram calling the situation a “nightmare.”

“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 a horrific (sic),” she wrote.

riceinstaThe Baltimore Ravens released Rice on Monday after a video surfaced showing him knocking her out with a punch in February, and dragging her limp body our of a casino elevator.

In response to texts sent to him on Tuesday, Rice texted CNN sports journalist Rachel Nichols: “I’m just holding strong for my wife and kid that’s all I can do right now.”

His wife’s Instagram post, reported by various media, appeared to be authentic.

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

She said in the Instagram post: “THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get.”

Ray Rice was originally suspended for two games, a punishment that many considered too lenient.

Rice was just weeks away from returning to the gridiron when the new video surfaced and the Ravens and the NFL acted more severely. He was released by the Ravens, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely from football.

The new video shows the football player punching Janay Rice, his fiancée at the time, inside an elevator at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, seven months ago.

She appears to lunge at him, and he strikes her so hard she drops to the ground face first, then he appears to drag her limp body out of the elevator.

There is no audio on the TMZ tape.

A new tape?

However, The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the news organization has viewed a longer, “higher-quality” video with audio given to it by an anonymous source that shows the couple yelling obscenities at each other in the elevator.

In the video AP viewed, she spits on him, and he punches her, the story said.

“Rice made no attempt to cover up the incident,” the AP reported.

After Janay Rice collapses, Rice appears to pull her out of the elevator and is met by hotel staff, according to the AP.

One of the staffers can be heard saying, “She’s drunk, right?” and then, “No cops.”

Rice did not respond, the AP said.

At a press conference in July after the first video emerged, Rice said his actions were “inexcusable” and that the two were in counseling.

“We’re taking the necessary steps to move forward,” Rice said then. “My job is to lead my family. My job is to lead my wife. My job is to lead in whatever I do. And If I’m not being the example, then my family crumbles.”

Janay Rice’s reaction

On Tuesday, TMZ published a report, citing anonymous sources, saying that casino officials were never asked by the NFL for the video showing Rice punching his future wife. Had the request been made, TMZ reported, the tape would have been handed over.

Reacting in a statement, Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications, said: “Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police. Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

Many are blasting the NFL and how Commissioner Roger Goodell have handled the punishment of Rice.

Rice and his fiancée were arrested and charged with simple assault after the February 15 elevator incident.

On February 19, TMZ published a video that showed the football player dragging her out of the elevator.

In early March, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh defended his player: “Ray has told me his side of it, and everything we’ve seen so far is very consistent with what he said.”

Later that month, a grand jury indicted Rice on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault, and the charge against Janay Rice was dropped. The couple were married the next day.

Ray Rice pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and applied to a program for first-time offenders that could clear him of charges in as little as one year.

In July, the NFL announced Rice would be suspended for two games. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome called the punishment “significant” but “fair.”

Between the time of his indictment and two-game suspension, the Ravens held a press conference with the couple. The event was tweeted live, including the following: “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”

On Tuesday, experts in the psychology of domestic violence weighed in, stressing that public pressure or harsh attention now should not be on Janay Rice.

Victims of domestic violence blaming the media or others rather than their abusers happens often, they say.

“This is extremely common, which is why almost every court system in the country has in place a procedure for dealing with victims who recant,” attorney Lisa Bloom said on CNN.

“None of us should judge Janay Rice,” said Bloom, who has handled many domestic violence cases. “I think we should have compassion for her. Frankly, the focus should not be on her. The focus should be on Ray Rice and all of the decision-makers” at the NFL.

The victims of domestic violence endure a gamut of emotions, often rationalizing staying with their partner, explained CNN’s Val Willingham in a personal essay about why she, years ago, remained with a man who hit her.

She notes that the American Psychiatric Association says that women remain in abusive relationships for many reasons: lack of finances, poor self-esteem, children and even religious and cultural values.

Rachel Sklar, a journalist and social media entrepreneur, spoke on CNN about living through a relationship with a person who abused her. She wrote about her experience on TheLi.st.

She said she’s upset that Rice was allowed to go through a program for first-time offenders and didn’t face harsher punishment for attacking Janay Rice.

“This is not an anger management issue,” Sklar said.

Seeing the video from the elevator is a “trigger” for her in remembering her own struggle. Domestic abuse “happens so often,” Sklar said, and there needs to be greater understanding by everyone, especially those in positions of power, including leaders in the NFL.