Is the reason Ray Rice initially got off with a light two-game suspension because the NFL turned a blind eye to the video showing the running back knocking out his then fiancée, Janay Palmer? A report from TMZ Sports claims that the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his investigators did not make an effort to obtain the in-elevator footage showing the assault.
Following the initial release of the Ray Rice video on Monday, the outcry from the public forced the Baltimore Ravens to cut the running back and the NFL to indefinitely suspend him. In a statement from the NFL obtained by CBS Sports, Goodell’s office claimed that it never saw the in-elevator assault video.
“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.”
The immediate question from this is why did the NFL not see the video. TMZ Sports says it is because NFL investigators never asked, despite the police being in possession of the video as well as Rice’s own lawyers.
Ray Rice Video — NFL Commish in the Dark… By Choice? http://t.co/VEhygc8VXG
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) September 9, 2014
“Multiple sources tell TMZ Sports… the casino made a copy of the elevator surveillance video for police. We’re also told Rice’s lawyer had a copy of the video, which he got in the criminal case. An NFL source tells us they requested “any and all information” from law enforcement in the criminal case but got nothing because it was a pending case. But the NFL had other options… namely going to the casino or Rice’s lawyer — but the NFL never bothered to ask.”
There were already calls by Keith Olbermann and others for Goodell resign because Rice was given such a light punishment to begin with. The fact that his investigation included not asking for the in-elevator video is already raising more calls and general disgust with the entire incident.
— Newge (@IamNewge) September 9, 2014
This also raises larger concerns over how the NFL hands out punishment. It’s revamped its domestic abuse policy, but why was it not until a video of the knockout punch was seen in Rice’s case that something was done? Everyone had already seen the aftermath, and Rice and his fiancée reportedly did not “sugarcoat it.”
What do you think? Should Roger Goodell and NFL personnel involved in the Ray Rice case resign? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via CNN Sports Illustrated]