Janay Rice shares her version of the elevator incident and details on meeting with Goodell


Ray Rice’s appeal was granted on his indefinite NFL suspension. His wife Janay gave an interview to ESPN’s Jemele Hill. In this interview, Janay details her version of what happened that night in the elevator, details of their meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and why she was mad at the Ravens’ organization for releasing Ray.

We’d been together seven years and had been engaged for two. What happened that night wasn’t going to change the fact that we were going to get married. – Janay Rice

The incident in the elevator:

After the club, our friends from Baltimore, Ray and I decided to go to the late-night restaurant in the casino. Ray and I were bickering. We were drunk and tired and while I know that some people may find it hard to believe, none of the six of us can remember exactly what Ray and I were arguing about. It was that insignificant.

As we were arguing, he was on his phone and not looking at me. I went to reach for his phone, and when he grabbed it back, he spit at me and I slapped him.

We got into the elevator and what happened inside is still foggy to me. The only thing I know — and I can’t even say I “remember” because I only know from what Ray has told me — is that I slapped him again and then he hit me. I remember nothing else from inside the elevator.

After they were released from jail, on the drive back to Maryland, the first calls Ray made were to his manager, the Ravens security director, Darren Sanders, and his mom.

The May 23rd Press conference where she apologized:

  •   There was a Ravens suggested script for the press conference. Her apologizing was suggested.


  • Janay felt she was wrong to put her hands on Ray, so that’s why is why she apologized. She wanted to show the real side of both she and Ray.

On meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in June 2014

  • They weren’t asked many questions, Ray told them everything because, they knew there was a video so there was no point in lying. The commissioner seemed concerned that they were getting counseling.


  • One of the questions to Janay was how she felt about everything. Janay said she broke out in tears, stating that she just wanted it all to be over.

Why she’s angry with the Ravens

  • Janay felt they took the PR move when they knew Ray’s character, and their family, from the six-years he had been with the franchise.

I’m going to stick by my original thought about the two-game suspension. I believe that it may have been hard for Goodell to process the situation. Most people are taught to respect the boundaries between other people’s relationships. With Janay being emotional at the meeting, and this ultimately being a situation between a man and his wife, he decided to go easy on Rice.

Ray Rice never showed this behavior publicly prior to this incident, and his team was behind him.  By all accounts, Rice was the type of player you’d want to extend the benefit of doubt to. That he and his wife made a mistake.


When the woman opts to stay in the relationship, it makes things difficult for outsiders to “judge.” But, Goodell shouldn’t have implied that he wasn’t aware of the truth of what happened in the elevator. Even with everything the couple said, if the only piece of that video you saw was him dragging her out of the elevator, common sense should’ve said two games isn’t going to cut it with fans.