NFL running back Ray Rice (foreground) enters a news conference followed by his wife, Janay, at the Baltimore Ravens training center on May 23, 2014, in Owings Mills, Md.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ray Rice broke his silence Tuesday for the first time following his indefinite suspension by the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL, telling an ESPN reporter that his main objective at the moment was to be strong for his wife, Janay, and his family.

“I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong. … We are in good spirits. We have a lot of people praying for us, and we’ll continue to support each other,” Rice said.

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“I have to be there for [Janay] and my family right now and work through this,” he reiterated.

Janay Rice then got on the phone and expressed support for her husband. “I love my husband. I support him,” she said. “I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter.”

Ray and Janay Rice are in the middle of a media firestorm after TMZ released video footage Monday showing the three-time Pro Bowler punching Janay inside a New Jersey casino elevator back in February.

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The NFL initially suspended Ray Rice for two games, but when the video emerged Monday showing the incident in its entirety, the organization and the NFL revisited their punishment. The Ravens cut Rice from the team, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Read more at ESPN.