In his first public comments since his February arrest following a physical altercation with his now wife, Ravens running back Ray Rice apologized to fans Friday. But most sports columnists felt that Rice should also be sorry for his awkward apology.

  • Eric Edholm, Shutdown Corner blog, Yahoo! Sports: The facts of the case do show that Rice is a first-time offender who had never stepped afoul of the law previously. Team officials have disapproved of his actions but have stood by him for the most part. By all indications, he's trying to better himself and show that he deserves to be trusted. But his handling of the matter Friday was pretty poor.
     
  • New York Daily News: At a press conference Friday filled with self-pity, in which he did not apologize to his wife, Janay Palmer, Rice said he had “failed miserably.” What he really appeared to fail at was an apology.
     
  • Jarret Bell, USA Today: It took Ray Rice about six minutes to unload his mea culpa on Friday afternoon, to show contrition for the type of horrendous event that seemed so out of character for him. Now he might spend the rest of his life trying to back it up.
     
  • Foxsports.com: The press conference, tucked in right about the time America was headed home for its Memorial Day weekend, might have gone unnoticed had it not offended just about everybody watching. Rice apologized several times to several people, but most of what he said left the public and media shaking their heads.
     
  • Coley Harvey, ESPN.com: Friday's event was only that -- a step. And it was a somewhat awkward step considering neither Rice nor Palmer, who accompanied him on the dais at the Ravens' training complex, took any questions on the advice of their legal counsel and the players' association.
     
  • Matthew Stevens, Baltimore Beatdown: Another large issue is Ray Rice's use of an analogy to indicate his resolve to improve as a person when he said: “Failure is not getting knocked down, but not getting up.” Given that he was charged for assault and there was released video of him dragging his unconscious wife from an elevator being circulated around the web, this was a poor choice of words for sure. Several fans and media members have publicly wondered where Ravens' PR, Rice's agent and lawyer all were on reviewing his statement before he read it.
     
  • John Eisenberg, Baltimore Ravens columnistRice burnished a golden image in the community with his years of earnest hard work, his countless hours spent in schools, camps and hospitals….But the positive vibe he worked so hard to develop was mitigated in an instant in many minds, undone by whatever happened that night in a casino elevator in Atlantic City. And the dark clouds that scudded into his previously clear-blue sky will not go away easily.