Ray Rice
Ray Rice is addressing the controversy surrounding the elevator fight with his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. Reuters

A day after a damaging video was leaked by TMZ Monday showing Ray Rice, 27, hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City hotel elevator, Rice is speaking up about the mid-February incident and the fallout from it. “I have to be strong for my wife,” the NFL player told ESPN reporter Josina Anderson.

“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,” Rice continued. “I have to be there for [Janay] and my family right now and work through this.”

Palmer was once again thrust into the spotlight Monday amid the widely reported February domestic abuse incident that has now gotten her husband suspended from the league. New footage was released of Rice knocking Palmer unconscious in an elevator at the Revel Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City, then dragging her outside.

Palmer, 26, has also spoken out since the new video was released, saying on Instagram on Monday, “No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options [sic] 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.”

After the second video was released, the Baltimore Ravens terminated the running back’s contract, the team announced on Monday. A number of his former teammates have said they will continue to stand by him, according to TMZ. Rice reportedly also apologized to some of his former teammates. He said he is actively seeking counseling and going to church to try to move on with his life.