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Ray Rice Apologizes to Baltimore For 'Horrible Mistake I Made'

2/13/2015 5:56 AM PST

Ray Rice -- Apologizes to Baltimore ... For 'Horrible Mistake I Made'

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With the one year anniversary of his infamous elevator incident coming up, Ray Rice has issued an apology to the city of Baltimore ... saying, "I apologize for the horrible mistake I made."

In an open letter which begins "Dear Baltimore," Rice says ... "This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives."

He goes on ... "To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare."

"There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue."

"Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I’m very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens."

It's interesting Rice thanks Bisciotti -- since the Baltimore Ravens owner essentially backstabbed him ... by accusing Ray of lying after he told Ray he had his back. 

As it turns out, it seems Ray never lied -- and the organization essentially hung him out to dry. 

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