'This will be a defining moment': Ray Rice speaks out about Kareem Hunt after TMZ video showing assault

Over four years after his own release for a domestic-violence incident, former Ravens running back Ray Rice knows Kareem Hunt needs some help.

The Kansas City Chiefs on Friday released Hunt after TMZ published a video showing the Pro Bowl running back shoving and kicking a female at a Cleveland hotel during a February incident. Hunt previously denied the assault.

Rice told NFL.com on Saturday that "you obviously see some similarities between what happened in my situation." The Ravens cut Rice in 2014 after TMZ released footage of him assaulting this then-fiancee and now wife in an elevator of an Atlantic City, N.J., casino. He was reinstated after an indefinite league suspension but never played again in the NFL.

"Peer-to-peer, I would definitely try to help him figure out, 'How can we start dealing with the underlying problems in your life?' " said Rice, who also expressed remorse for domestic-violence victims. "Because he has a long life to live, this will be a defining moment, but it shouldn't be the moment that defines you. For me, I just see you have a long life to live and that doesn't mean just playing football — you need to just live one day at a time."

Hunt has apologized for his actions but is expected to face a lengthy ban. Rice told NFL.com that he would’ve urged Hunt to consider whether it was “worth risking it all for a split-second decision — for something you know you can get out of,” but acknowledged that Hunt might not have been “in his right mind” when he lashed out.

"I just look at the situation and say, 'Your life wasn't being threatened,' ” said Rice, who has worked with domestic-violence organizations and spoken to the Ravens and other NFL teams about accountability and professionalism in recent years. “So if there was just words, you can back out of that situation. ...

“It is hard to practice what to do in the most intense moments and about making those split-second decisions. I have taken a deeper look at my own life and I think: What was his upbringing like? That's just how I look at it. I know my upbringing wasn't perfect. And I know that's where I masked a lot of my problems."

jshaffer@baltsun.com

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