Ray Rice wanted to get something off his chest with the one-year anniversary of his domestic assault incident looming.

Rice, who was suspended last season by the NFL following an incident in which he punched his now-wife, Janay, in an Atlantic City, N.J., elevator, issued a statement to The Baltimore Sun on Friday. The former Ravens running back apologized for his actions and thanked the city of Baltimore for welcoming him with open arms for seven years.

Rice plans to leave Maryland and return to his home state of New York, according to The Baltimore Sun. The 28-year-old reportedly is eyeing an NFL return after his contract with the Ravens was terminated last September.

The complete statement, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun, is below.

Dear Baltimore,

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. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. 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.

Thank you.

— Ray Rice

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Ray Rice on the sidelines during a Baltimore Ravens game.