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Joe Flacco

Jabs Prez Over Name Screw Up ...

'It's Franco, not Flacco!'

12/19/2014 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Listen up, President Obama ... Joe Flacco wants to make sure you know he's never been in "127 Hours" or "Spring Breakers" ... and he's definitely not the co-star of "The Interview."

POTUS made a huge flub during his news conference Friday -- mashing up James Franco's name with Joe's -- and the Ravens QB quickly responded.

The prez was talking about the Sony cyber attack and "The Interview" ... saying, "a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James FLACCO.  I love Seth ... I love James."

Flacco razzed the president by tweeting, "@barackobama: It's James Franco, not James Flacco ;)" He also shouted out James ... welcoming him to the fam. 

Still ... imagine Franco putting on the pads to take on J.J. Watt and the Texans this weekend. THAT would be awesome.

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Ray Rice

All Is Forgiven ...

Surrounded by Fans at Kids Event

12/18/2014 9:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1218-ray-rice-instagram-02Ray Rice is back in the good graces of many Baltimore Ravens fans ... who flocked to him last night during a Christmas charity event.

Ray and Janay Rice went to a Toys for Tots drive organized by his ex-teammate Torrey Smith -- and no one shied away from Ray as he walked around the event. In fact, he and Janay posed for several pictures with people during his first public appearance since his suspension was overturned.

Organizers say this is the 3rd consecutive year that Rice has pitched in with the charity.

He told a reporter for WJZ ... "I just made a horrible mistake in my life but you know, if they truly believe in second chances - they would forgive me "

We've said it before -- comebacks happen all the time.  
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Ray & Janay Rice

Fireball Shots & Card Games

At Surprise Party

12/16/2014 10:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1216-ray-rice-cake-instagramRay and Janay Rice partied hard Monday night ... their friends threw them a surprise party -- complete with cake and hard booze -- to celebrate being in Baltimore for seven years. 

Janay posted a few pics from the party at their home -- looks like they played Cards Against Humanity and drank beers and a handle of Fireball. 

We don't know what Ray was drinking, but as we first reported -- he blamed the entire elevator incident on hard alcohol and told friends he was swearing off the stuff completely.

Janay captioned her pics with: "our Bmore family is seriously the best!!! We thought we were having a normal Monday night then the doorbell rang...little did we know there they were with drinks, food, games, and the most of all love & support!"

One of her hashtags was "#lovenomatterwhereweare" ... perhaps an acknowledgment that after 7 years they'll most likely be leaving Baltimore when -- and if -- Ray gets picked up by another NFL team. 

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President Obama --

RIPS ROGER GOODELL

NFL 'Behind the Curve' On Dom. Violence

12/12/2014 8:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

121214_obama_cowherd_launch_v2President Barack Obama just went after Roger Goodell -- saying the NFL Commish is "winging it" when it comes to the league's disciplinary action on domestic violence. 

Obama called in to ESPN's "The Herd" and talked to Colin Cowherd about the Ray Rice situation. 

"The way it was handled also indicates that the NFL was behind the curve," Obama said ... "As a lot of institutions have been behind the curve, in sending a clear message.”

That's when Obama took aim at Goodell -- who's been under fire for being inconsistent with the punishment he's dished out to players.  

"You don’t want to be winging it when something like this happens. You want to have clear policies in place."

Obama did say there was a silver lining from the Rice situation -- "I’m so glad we got more awareness about domestic violence. Obviously, the situation that happened in the Rice family was important, but it did lift up awareness that this is a real problem that we have to root out and men have to change their attitudes and their behavior."

Roger Goodell

I Half-Assed My Job

When It Came to Ray Rice

12/11/2014 7:19 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Roger Goodell ADMITTED he didn't thoroughly read NFL security reports about the Ray Rice elevator attack ... this according to new transcripts from the Rice suspension hearing. 

The transcript, obtained by ESPN, contains testimony from November when Goodell was asked about the NFL's investigation into the Rice elevator attack. 

During questioning, Goodell acknowledged that several of his officials gave him detailed security reports about the incident ... but Roger admitted he "didn't read it from start to finish" and "I didn't look at them closely."

There's more ... when asked why the NFL never made a "formal request" for the elevator footage from the Atlantic City PD, Goodell gave a bizarre answer. 

First, he argued that he didn't know what the word "formal" meant because "I am not an attorney." Then he admitted that he didn't "know the specifics" about if or how his team tried to get the video. 

The NFL's lead investigator, Jim Buckley, also gave a shocking statement -- saying when it came to the Atlantic City PD or the casino where the attack occurred, "I never contacted anyone about the tape."

As for Ray, the transcript shows he told NFL officials he "hit" Janay Palmer inside the elevator that day ... though Goodell insisted Rice said he merely "slapped" her. 

When Rice was questioned about the incident by the NFL in June, Goodell never asked a single question himself ... instead leaving the interrogating to his deputies.

The transcripts show that the Revel Casino put together it's own investigative report about the incident ... in which it details Rice "punching" Janay in the elevator

The NFL's chief investigator testified that the league never asked the casino for the report.

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."

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."

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."

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