Ravens running back Ray Rice is scheduled to speak at a news conference Friday afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center, his first public comments since he was arrested and ultimately charged with one count of aggravated assault following an altercation with his then fiancee, Janay Palmer.
Palmer, who married Rice in March, will also take part in the 3 p.m. news conference. To this point, Rice hasn't commented on the situation, letting the legal process play out.
Rice, 27, learned earlier this week that he was accepted into a diversionary program that could allow him to clear his record on the charge, stemming from an incident at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino. Rice earlier this month pleaded not guilty and applied for entry into the program for first-time offenders.
While he could put the legal issues behind him by completing the program, Rice could still face discipline from the NFL.
“I think what Ray wants to do is talk to the media about the incident and I think he will do that in the near future,” Ravens president Dick Cass said yesterday. “He’s got some limits on how much he can talk about, but I think he wants to address the media. And then he’s going to have to talk to the commissioner and the league about what discipline – if any – is going to be imposed on him.”
The Ravens start the first of three “voluntary” organized team activities next Thursday. Rice, who is coming off his most disappointing season as a pro, has vowed to attend the various team minicamps. By addressing the incident this week, he’s obviously hoping his situation isn’t a continued distraction to his teammates and the Ravens’ organization.