ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Details NFL, Baltimore Ravens’ Handling of Ray Rice Situation
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(NEW YORK) — Baltimore Ravens executives may have received a detailed description of what transpired just hours after former running back Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee at Revel in Atlantic City in February.
The latest bombshell in the ongoing scandal involving Rice’s actions and the National Football League and Baltimore Ravens’ handling in the aftermath was reported by ESPN’s Outside the Lines. According to the report, the Ravens’ head of security had video from inside the elevator — which wasn’t released until earlier this month — described to him by an Atlantic City police officer.
The head of security passed that information along to higher-ups Outside the Lines says, though it was unclear whether he told Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and President Dick Cass directly.
TMZ posted the first video, from outside the elevator, four days after the incident. In that video, Rice was seen dragging his Janay Palmer from the elevator. The woman appeared unconscious.
In late July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Rice would be suspended for two games, a ruling that he would later call a mistake.
Months later, TMZ posted a second video, from the interior of the elevator, showing Rice punch his now-wife in the face. At that point, both the Ravens and the NFL denied prior knowledge of the content of the second tape.
Shortly after the second tape became public, the Ravens released Rice from his contract and Commissioner Goodell altered Rice’s suspension from two games to indefinite length. Goodell claimed that seeing the video — he says for the first time — changed his opinion of what he called an “ambiguous” incident. Goodell has received criticism both for the brevity of the initial suspension and for his handling of the subsequent investigation.
The NFL and the Ravens have said that they should have tried harder to obtain the second tape, though Outside the Lines reports that the Ravens were aware of exactly what it would show.
Goodell’s decision to lengthen the suspension came in the wake of criticism from fans, sponsors, politicians and organizations like the National Organization for Women. Numerous calls for the commissioner to resign have been made, though Goodell said in a Friday press conference that he never considered that route.
Outside the Lines‘ report also claims that some in the Ravens’ front office lobbied for leniency for Rice, pointing out his presence in the community. Some executives also rejected Head Coach John Harbaugh’s urging to release Rice after the first tape was released.
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