Did you think the Ray Rice story was done after the NFL handed him a two-game suspension for knocking his fiancé out in a casino elevator? Nope, not even close. A disturbing new video emerged Monday showing the Baltimore Ravens running back unleashing a brutal blow on Janay Palmer, the woman he married just a month ago.
Ray Rice — ELEVATOR KNOCKOUT… Fiancee Takes Crushing Punch (Video) http://t.co/jc7FEo3931
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) September 8, 2014
TMZ Sports got the scoop on the video and it clearly illustrates the moments leading up to the knockout punch and the aftermath of Rice dragging an unconscious Miller out of the elevator. It immediately calls into question whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s two-game suspension of Rice was enough and clearly disputes claims by the likes of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that Miller may have provoked Rice.
The start of the video shows Rice standing at the casino elevators waiting for Miller. As she approaches he says something to her and then she slaps at him in response. Both then walk to an open elevator still arguing with each other. Rice then slaps Miller as the elevator doors are closing some twenty seconds after the first encounter. Miller approaches Rice and he then gives her a closed fist punch to the right side of her face causing her to fall and hit her head against the rail of the elevator.
It’s not clear whether the punch or her head striking the rail caused Miller to lose consciousness, but she is clearly out on the floor of the elevator. Rice appears to wait on her to get up before he haphazardly tries to drag her out.
The reaction to the TMZ video was immediate. Sports talk radio hosts on ESPN and local stations around the country were in shock at the brutality of the video. Other sports reporters let their disgust be known in Twitter.
A thousand positive marijuana tests don’t equal what Ray Rice did. Note to NFL and NFLPA: Your policies are broke. Fix them.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) September 8, 2014
Feel like the conversation should be “why isn’t Ray Rice in jail,” not “why was Ray Rice only suspended two games”
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) September 8, 2014
Are the good people of Baltimore still going to cheer for Ray Rice now that the video of him knocking out his wife has been released? Awful
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) September 8, 2014
The elevator knockout punch from Ray Rice is beyond disturbing and stomach turning. http://t.co/Ok0jmK6wUW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2014
Forget a suspension. How exactly did Ray Rice avoid incarceration?? http://t.co/zLNPiu9C7J
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) September 8, 2014
This video also makes arguments from Rice’s lawyers that Miller initiated look downright unethical. This was lawyer Michael Diamonstein told ESPN 97.3 as reported by NBC Sports.
“This is just a complete hypothetical,” Diamondstein told Matt Hammond of ESPN 97.3 FM in New Jersey. “Let’s assume for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that [Rice] entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case. And hypothetically we litigate 100 motions and the video comes out and the video shows — hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking — shows that Ray wasn’t the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder. Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty. Is that result somehow better? Is it better for the public? Is it better for the Ravens? Is it better for Ray? Is it better for Janay?”
This brings up several questions. These questions start with was this video available to NFL Commission Roger Goodell when he made his ruling? If so, why did Rice seemingly get off with only a two-game suspension? If Goodell did not see the video, will he change his mind light of the NFL’s new domestic abuse policy.
Update: The NFL commissioner’s office denies seeing the video before now.
In a statement on Monday morning, several hours after the new video was released, the NFL commissioner’s office said: “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.”
CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora tweeted that while the Baltimore Ravens had not seen the video, Ray Rice had detailed what was shown in it previously, and he didn’t “sugarcoat” its content.
What do you think? Did Rice get off too light or should he have received more punishment? Sound of in the comments below.
[Image via TMZ Sports]