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Baltimore Ravens had to axe Ray Rice - John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh said the Baltimore Ravens had no option but to sack Ray Rice after new footage emerged of him punching his then-fiancee.

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Rice was cut by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL on Monday after website TMZ released new footage of the running back allegedly assaulting Janay Palmer - now his wife - at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey in February.

Ravens coach Harbaugh said the franchise were forced to drop Rice from the roster, with the 27-year-old initially banned for two games by the NFL after he was charged with aggravated assault in July.

"It's something we saw for the first time today, all of us," Harbaugh told reporters. "It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.

"We [coaches] came to the decision that we came to, to release Ray and that is what we did."

Despite the severity of the situation, Harbaugh said he would continue to offer Rice support, having coached him since he was drafted to Baltimore in 2008.

"I have nothing but hope and good will for Ray and Janay and will do whatever we can to help them as they go forward to try and make the best of it," he said.

"When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences of doing wrong and rightfully so it is tough and hurtful.

"My pain is for them as a couple and going forward my hope is they can make it work and from everything I understand and talking to Ray until his suspension it seemed like they were working hard and doing well and going in the right direction."

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