Ray Rice remains hopeful that he can return to the NFL but acknowledged that public opinion after his domestic violence incident presents a "unique" obstacle to his comeback attempt.
Rice told "Outside The Lines" that he thinks NFL teams have been hesitant to sign him because of the surveillance video, released last year, of the former Ravens running back punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer inside a casino elevator.
"We do live in a society where public opinion matters, and I totally respect that," Rice told "Outside The Lines" during an interview Tuesday. "Domestic violence is real. It happens every 12 seconds as we speak. ... I think that that issue alone with me in my situation, having the video -- that puts a lot in perspective. That vivid memory, obviously, that was the worst decision I've ever made in my life."
Rice said he considers himself a "rehabilitated man" and that he has tried to convey that point to potentially interested teams.
"The conversations that I had with them is more to understand the magnitude of my situation," he said. "I know that it's a unique deal, so I just try to honestly live day to day and stay hopeful for that opportunity."
Rice said on multiple occasions that he wants to "hang them up the right way" but also emphasized that he understands playing in the NFL is a "privilege."
"I understand why maybe a few teams or teams shy away from me," Rice said. "I understand that because it's a privilege. It truly is a privilege to play in the NFL. It's a privilege to play professional sports.
"I always preach one or two bad decisions, and your dream could become a nightmare. Well, I had to eat my own words. I truly lived a nightmare. There is no set in stone whether you're going to get a second chance or not. I have to set my hope and faith and everything else that I'm doing in my life, I'm just really hopeful for a second chance."
Rice has not played since he was released by the Ravens last season. The 29-year-old has relocated from Baltimore to Connecticut and has received support from a group of advocates, including former Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who are contacting NFL teams in an attempt to get him into an NFL training camp.
Ray Rice discusses 'unique' comeback attempt, cites public opinion