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Janay Rice

The Ravens Betrayed Us

12/1/2014 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Janay Rice
says she's furious with the Baltimore Ravens -- telling Matt Lauer she feels completely betrayed by the NFL team for the way they hung Ray out to dry after the elevator incident. 

During Part 1 of her interview with the "Today" show (which aired this morning), Janay explains that she never thought the team would turn their back on him ... and fire him ... after he was honest about what happened in February. 

"The support system that I thought we had in the Ravens, that made me angry," Janay explained.

Janay also told Matt ... Ray had never hit her before the incident and hasn't laid a finger on her since. 

She also says she refuses to watch the footage of the attack -- telling Matt, "I'm not going to let the public bring me back there."

The Game

My 49ers Would LOVE Ray Rice

But ...

11/30/2014 7:43 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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With the Ray Rice sweepstakes officially underway, rapper The Game tells TMZ Sports he would LOVE to see RR on his favorite squad ... the 49ers ... but there's one big caveat.

Game -- rockin' a pretty freaky masquerade ball mask -- was leaving his birthday party at the Supper Club in Hollywood Friday night when he explained why San Fran could benefit from #27.

But while Game says he's happy to see Rice reinstated -- there are 2 big things that could get in the way of the 9ers bringing the running back to S.F.

Check out the clip.

Ray Rice

NFL Players Want Him Back

11/29/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0908-ray-rice-getty-03Multiple active NFL stars from multiple NFL teams tell TMZ Sports they would ABSOLUTELY welcome Ray Rice on their squads ... because as one player put it, "everyone deserves a second chance."

Of course Ray is now eligible to sign with a team ... if a team decides to make an offer ... and we're guessing there are several owners currently trying to take the temperatures of their players and fans to see how signing Rice would go over.

Of the NFL stars we spoke to ... all of them said they were open to playing with the former All-Pro running back.

"I know Ray and his wife. I believe they've forgiven each other," one prominent player told us ... adding, "I would accept him, and I think that my teammates would accept him."

Another major NFL star told us, "I believe that everyone in life deserves a second chance."

A third player -- who played with Rice at one point in his career -- says, "He seems very remorseful. As much as I am against domestic violence, I do believe in second chances. No more chances after that, though."

There are plenty of teams that could use a running back right now -- and with playoffs right around the corner, it'll be interesting to see if anyone bites.

Ray Rice

Fantasy Football Boom

Becomes #1 Added Player In Minutes

11/28/2014 2:24 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Didn't take long for Fantasy Football owners to forgive Ray Rice -- because just hours after he was reinstated, Ray has become the MOST picked up player in Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

As we previously reported, Ray's fantasy stock sank like a stone after TMZ Sports published the inside-the-elevator footage back in September.

But now, according to Yahoo! "Transaction Trends" page, Ray has already been added to more than 168,000 fantasy teams ... the #1 added player today ... BY FAR.

In fact, the #2 guy is Vikings running back Matt Asiata who was added to 14,000 teams.

Funny thing is ... Ray hasn't been signed to a real team yet.

Clearly, 168k people think he'll find a new squad before the season ends.

Ray Rice

'Thank Goodness for Appeals Process'

11/28/2014 1:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Ray Rice just issued a statement about the judge's decision to overturn the NFL's indefinite suspension -- saying, "I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue."

Here's Ray's statement in its entirety:

"I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans - but most importantly, my wife Janay."

"I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue."

"I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes."

Janay Rice

Finally Speaks Out

Blasts Ravens, Defends Ray Rice

11/28/2014 1:11 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Janay Rice has finally broken her silence about the ENTIRE Ray Rice elevator saga ... from the fight to the cover up to the reason she decided to NOT divorce the NFL star.

Janay spoke with ESPN on November 5th in an interview that the network agreed to hold until after the U.S. District judge issued their ruling on the NFL's actions.

In the interview, Janay says she doesn't remember what she and Ray were fighting about in Atlantic City back in February ... but says she does remember Ray got physical first.

"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."

On Apologizing for Her Role in the Incident at Ravens News Conference:

" I know some people disagreed with me publicly apologizing. I'm not saying that what Ray did wasn't wrong. He and I both know it was wrong. It's been made clear to him that it was wrong. But at the same time, who am I to put my hands on somebody? "

On What Ray Was Thinking After He Hit Her:

"I asked him how he felt when he saw that I was unconscious. He told me he was in shock. I asked him what happened when we got out of the elevator. He told me he was terrified because security was there. I asked him how he felt seeing me like that. He said he was thinking, "What did I just do?" I didn't watch the video again."

On What Ray and Janay told Roger Goodell:

"Ray told the commissioner, and his colleagues, everything that happened. There was no reason to lie because we knew that there was a video and we assumed the NFL knew what was in it, even though we didn't know whether or not they saw it.

On Anger at Baltimore Ravens for Cutting Ray:

"I was extremely surprised and angry that the Ravens released him, because they know him. They were our family, but I felt like the Ravens completely disregarded the past six years with him. Anytime the Ravens needed someone for a community event, Ray was their man.

On Being a Martyr for Domestic Violence:

"If it took our situation becoming headline news to show domestic violence is happening in this country, that's a positive."

Ray Rice's Teammate

He Deserves 2nd Chance

'He'll Do the Right Thing'

11/28/2014 1:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Two of Ray Rice's former teammates are voicing their support of the ruling -- saying they're happy Ray will get a second chance in the NFL.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted ... "Second chances are only as good as you make them....my boy will do the right things."

And Bryant McKinnnie -- who also played with Ray on the Ravens -- wrote, "The Power of Prayer! I'm glad my Friend Ray Rice was given a 2nd chance & him his wife can move on, they have learned so much from this situation."

NFL Star Torrey Smith

My Son Should Be the Gerber Baby!!!

11/25/2014 8:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
1125_Torrey-Smith_baby-and-family-instagramTorrey Smith is on a mission to make his son the next Gerber Baby ... entering the 7-month-old into the official Gerber competition -- and he's already got celebrity support. 

The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and his wife Chanel entered little Torrey Jeremiah (aka TJ) into the Gerber "Be Our Baby" photo search ... where TJ will battle it out with tykes from across the country. 

The competition closes on December 14 ... and the winner gets $5,000!

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Chanel says it's not about the money for them -- "I just want TJ in a Gerber commercial 😂😂 that little face belongs somewhere!"

She adds, "If TJ wins we plan to give half of the money to a children's charity and the other half would go to TJs college fund."

Janay Rice has also joined the campaign on Instagram saying, "Make sure you vote for this adorable face & my favorite cool kid for the Gerber baby contest." 

NFL Star Haloti Ngata

Tongan War Dancer

[Video]

11/18/2014 9:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
111814_haloti_ngata_launchBaltimore Ravens star Haloti Ngata scared the hell out of a room full of people last night when he busted out an authentic Tongan warrior dance on stage ... and TMZ Sports has the footage.

It's called the Kailao ... a traditional dance from Tonga (where his parents are from) ... and the 340-pounder showed off his moves at the 3rd Annual Haloti Ngata Family Foundation Luau. 

The event raised more than $50k for local educational groups and teachers ... and a whole bunch of Haloti's teammates were there to support him -- including Steve Smith Sr., Torrey Smith, Chris Canty, Justin Tucker and Courtney Upshaw. 

But Haloti didn't just dance -- he also SANG -- busting out a rendition of "Rude" by Magic!  Check out the clip ... 

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Matt Lauer

Janay Rice Interview 'Was Fantastic'

11/13/2014 9:12 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
111314_matt_lauer_launchMatt Lauer says his sitdown with Ray Rice's wife was "great" -- but it's clear he doesn't want to give too much away ... because he just bobbed and weaved like Muhammad Ali! 

Matt was heading over to 30 Rock in NYC this morning when he acknowledged the interview was in the can.

But watch the deflection technique ... Matt knows the golden rule when it comes to promoting a big interview -- no one's gonna buy the cow if he gives away the milk for free.

Ray Rice's Wife

Lights. Camera. Lauer.

11/13/2014 4:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1113-ray-rice-wife-nbc-interview-instagramRay Rice's wife Janay is ready for her close-up ... meeting up with beauty specialists before her big "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer

With cameras setup in her Maryland home, Janay Palmer -- the woman Ray KO'd in the elevator back in February -- invited over a local company that specializes in photo shoots to gussy her up.

The company is called Franchon Parlour -- and it does everything from wardrobe selection to hair extensions. 

It's clear that Janay and Ray want it to look like the interview is all about Janay -- but our NBC sources tell us Ray is the main reason they want this interview. And, our sources say Ray WILL be participating in some way even though his people say he is not yet committed.

We're told Ray was at the home when Janay went on camera.

Ray Rice

Breaking Silence to Matt Lauer

On 'Today' Show Sit-Down

11/11/2014 11:36 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Matt Lauer has won the war for Ray Rice -- booking the disgraced NFL star to appear on the "Today" show for an exclusive sit-down interview during sweeps ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

It's unclear if Ray's wife Janay Rice will participate in the interview. 

We're told the interview is expected to air sometime between now and Nov. 26th. 

It's a huge score for NBC ... especially since Rice and Janay have been radio silent with the media ever since we published the elevator footage showing Ray KOing Janay in an Atlantic City casino. 

update_graphic_red_barA source connected with Rice just contacted us and said Rice has made no commitment to sit-down with "Today" and will not do anything until after the arbitration decision on his suspension is made. The source says "Today" was really only interested in Janay, not Ray. Our NBC sources dispute that and say Rice is the prize. The Rice source says they will consider the interview but only after arbitration.

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Ray Rice & Janay

We're Praying for the Jerks

Mocking Us for Halloween

10/28/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Ray Rice
and his wife Janay are fully aware of the Ray Rice costumes that have been surfacing this Halloween -- and they're telling friends they're simply praying for the people mocking them.

You've seen the pics -- people dressed up as Ray dragging around an inflatable Janay in an effort to lampoon the infamous elevator attack.

We've spoken with friends and family members close to Ray and Janay who tell us ... the couple is dealing with the unwanted attention by turning to religion.

One source tells us Ray and Janay have said they are "praying for those people."

As we previously reported, Ray and Janay have been extremely involved with their church since the incident ... and were both baptized in March when they decided to become born again Christians.

We're also told Ray and Janay are still committed to the marriage -- and have vowed to maintain their family and rebuild their lives together.

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