The National Football League allegedly chose not to view the footage of Ray Rice’s attack on his then-fiancee when it made its initial disciplinary decision regarding the matter, under which Rice was suspended for only two games. Instead, it relied on video of the aftermath, taken in the casino lobby, which was widely seen by many in the public.
According to TMZ, the NFL — which claimed it had never seen attack video from inside the elevator before Monday — knew of the existence of the more-graphic video of Rice’s attack, but declined to view it or even obtain a copy of it.
The casino told TMZ that it had footage from inside the elevator and had made the video available to the police and to Rice’s legal team, but that NFL investigators had never requested the video nor even asked about its existence.
If NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell or any of the investigators had requested, casino officials said, they could have had the video immediately.
However, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Monday, “We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”
Deadspin writer Barry Petchesky said, “There are three possible explanations here. The first is that every single reporter who said the NFL had seen the video was lying. This seems unlikely, since they were all telling the same lie, both for public consumption and in their off-the-record talks with us.”
“The second,” Petchesky wrote, “is that the NFL was lying to all of the top football reporters back then about having seen the video, in some attempt to smear Janay Palmer.”
Or thirdly, “the NFL is lying now about not having seen the video—that league officials saw what everyone has now seen, for whatever reason actually found it exculpatory, and are now making false claims to protect the league’s image.”
When news of the Feb. 15 attack went public earlier this year and video of Rice bundling his fiancee’s unconscious body off the elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City went public, both Rice and Janay Palmer Rice said that their confrontation had been mutual.
However, in the new video, it is clear that Ray Rice violently struck his fiancee without physical provocation, putting the lie to the story that both parties were to blame.
Rice was fired from the Ravens Monday afternoon, but on Tuesday morning, Janay Palmer Rice struck back with a lengthy Instagram post declaring her support for the ex-Ravens player and lashing out at the media for “making us relive a moment of our lives we regret every day is a horrible thing.”
“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific [sic],” she wrote shortly before 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
“If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels,” she continued.
[image of Ray Rice via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]