ORLANDO -- Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti called Ray Rice's arrest last month "embarrassing and disappointing," but he vowed to stick by the three-time Pro Bowl running back.
"Ray will be here," Bisciotti said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun at the owners meetings. "This is a singular moment six years after we drafted him. It’s embarrassing for him and his fiancée. It is especially hard to see somebody that is proud of his reputation have to take this kind of public relations hit."
Rice, who has been one of the most active Ravens in the community since they drafted him in 2008, was arrested and charged with simple assault on Feb. 15 following an altercation with his fiancée. His fiancee, Janay Palmer, was also charged.
Bisciotti admitted that he was stunned when he got the news.
"I don’t think there’s a more admired kid that we drafted than Ray Rice," Bisciotti said. "We’re embarrassed and we’re disappointed but no more than he is. I think what you have to do, when you look at the character of the man, is to see how he handles it and how he handles himself going forward to determine whether this is a bad person doing bad things or a good person doing something bad. I think he and his fiancée are both disappointed in themselves and embarrassed by it. Unfortunately, he’s going to live with that for the rest of his life but if I know Ray Rice as well as I think I do, It will work out to be a positive for us and him."
Atlantic City law enforcement officials referred Rice's case to the county prosecutor’s office for review, and there's been no further announcements about whether Rice could face upgraded charges.
However, Bisciotti said that he sees no scenario where the team will release Rice whose situation will also be reveiwed by the NFL for a possible suspension.
"Least likely to get in trouble, he would have been at the top of my list and that’s the sad thing," Bisciotti said. "Ray loved that image, Ray loved being that guy, the way he treats his teammates, the way he embraced Baltimore and how much he gives to the community. I can’t imagine how devastating it is for him personally. They say people have short memories but not in a competitive world like this, not when you have 31 other team’s fans on Twitter to remind you of your failings."