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Dr. Drew on Ray Rice:

'Good They're Staying Together'

... But They're In Denial

12/3/2014 7:52 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
120314_dr_drew_launch_v2Dr. Drew says he's very concerned about Ray and Janay Rice -- telling TMZ Sports it's "good" they're staying together ... but says they're in major denial about the magnitude of what happened. 

Drew says the way Ray and Janay are chalking up the elevator attack to "one bad night" is bizarre -- and it "minimizes a very serious situation."

"For them to stay together is a good thing. But for them to sort of minimize it and be in such denial about the magnitude of what happened? I mean this is a violent attack. "

Drew says he's also concerned by how quickly Ray and Janay moved on -- saying their situation usually requires a year of hard work "if they're even possibly going to reduce the risk of something horrible happening again." 

Ray Rice

News Conference was Horrendous Mistake

... Blames Ravens

12/2/2014 6:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Ray Rice says the disastrous news conference he and Janay held together in May was a "horrendous mistake" ... but he's pointing the finger at the Baltimore Ravens. 

Ray broke his silence with Matt Lauer during a stand-up interview in his kitchen for the "Today" show ... and said of the P.R. debacle, "I made a tremendous mistake not apologizing to my wife."

Ray and Janay also took heat over the May 23rd event because Janay APOLOGIZED for her role in the elevator incident.

"When we was going in, we were given what to speak about. It wasn't truly coming from us," Ray says. 

So, who told them what to say? Janay claims the Ravens "gave us a general script" going in to the news conference that day ... and Ray and Janay did what they were told thinking the team would have their back.

During the interview, Ray also told Matt he had never laid a finger on Janay before the elevator attack

Ray says he wants to play football again, but if he can't get a job in the NFL -- Janay told Matt she's willing to  go out, get a job and "be the provider."

Ray Rice

HITS NY CLUB SCENE

After Winning NFL Appeal

12/1/2014 6:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
1201-ray-rice-instagram-01Ray Rice has finally returned to the bar scene -- partying at a NYC nightclub for the first time since he attacked his wife at an Atlantic City casino back in February ... and TMZ Sports has the pics. 

Rice hit up Bounce Sporting Club in Manhattan late Saturday night/early Sunday morning -- where he posed for pics with fans and chatted with anyone who approached him. 

We're told security was trying to keep fans away from Rice -- but Ray was talking and making conversation with people anyway.

The timing is interesting ... considering Ray won his appeal on Friday -- and then hit the club right after. It feels like a celebration.

One source tells us Janay was with Ray at the club -- though we can't confirm that yet.  

Everyone we spoke with says Ray was NOT drinking at Bounce.

As we previously reported, Ray claimed he was highly intoxicated when he struck Janay in Atlantic City -- and says ever since that incident, he's cut hard liquor out of his life. 

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Janay Rice

Elevator Incident Was God's Plan

12/1/2014 6:37 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Janay Rice says the elevator attack was all part of God's plan -- telling Matt Lauer she believes she and Ray were "chosen" to help bring awareness to domestic violence.

Janay says she believes there is a "silver lining" to the incident ... explaining, "I feel like God chose me and Ray for a reason, and it was definitely to bring awareness to what people are going through every day."

She continued ... "You know, it’s not what I am going through every day, but you know it’s definitely brought this topic to the forefront ... and we are OK with that."

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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