At a June 16 meeting, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he punched then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February, according to a report released by ESPN on Friday afternoon.
On Sept. 9, Goodell told CBS that video released a day earlier showing the punch was "inconsistent" with what Rice and his representatives told him at a disciplinary meeting and that Rice provided an "ambiguous" account. But sources told ESPN's Outside the Lines that Rice told the commissioner exactly what happened in the elevator at their June 16 meeting.
Four sources, however, told "Outside the Lines" that Rice gave Goodell a truthful account that he struck his fiancée. Furthermore, it would seem that if Rice had given an "ambiguous" account, sources say Goodell had even more incentive to try to obtain a copy of the in-elevator video to clear up any lingering questions. But he did not do that. "For you not to have seen the video is inexcusable," a league source told "Outside the Lines." "Because everybody was under the impression that you had."
The June meeting was among Goodell and Ray and Janay Rice. Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome, two NFLPA representatives, Adolpho Birch, the NFL's senior vice president of labor policy, and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash were at the meeting as well.
After the video was released by TMZ on Sept. 8, Goodell told CBS it was the first time he saw it and that the NFL was "never granted the opportunity" to see it. Two days later, the Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official said he sent a copy of the video to an NFL executive in April. The AP said it listened to a voicemail confirming the NFL office received it.
Goodell admitted last week that the NFL "made no additional effort to obtain the video."
- Sarah Barshop