Despite repeated insistences from the NFL that they had not seen the second Ray Rice video released earlier this week, the Associated Press reports today that a law enforcement official associated with the Rice case had in fact sent a copy of the tape to the NFL in April.
The report runs counter to statements Goodell made yesterday in an interview with CBS about the Ray Rice situation. During the interview, after Goodell had been asked whether any league officials had seen the tape, he said, "No one in the NFL, to my knowledge." At least he gave himself plausible deniability. Very canny, Roger.
However, Goodell may be right. The law enforcement official was not able to confirm that anyone in the league had actually watched the tape. He could only confirm that they had received it. His proof was a 12-second voicemail he received from a league official saying that they had gotten the video.
This evidence does contradict the league's claim that they had reached out to law enforcement for the tape and had been unable to get it. In the same interview with CBS, Goodell stated, "We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity." Now that we know they had the tape, the bigger issue becomes why the NFL didn't watch it, if we're to believe what Goodell says.
The AP notes that the version of the video they watched is different from the clips TMZ released. In the version they saw, audio is included, and the clip is slightly longer. Essentially, all the evidence to make a fair and proper decision about Ray Rice's initial suspension was in the NFL's hands.
And with that, Roger Goodell's week just went from bad to worse.
The NFL has already responded to the Associated Press report:
ABC News is now reporting that the Baltimore Ravens were also aware of the second Ray Rice video, and had the opportunity to receive a copy of the tape from Rice's lawyers. This report runs contrary to their assertion that they had tried to get a copy of the video from law enforcement officials, but had failed.
Here's the most damning part:
When that video surfaced, Rice's lawyer asked the hotel for the full tape, and the Revel handed it over, sources told ABC News.
The Ravens team also asked the hotel for the full video, but were told by the Revel they couldn't give it out to anyone except someone who was a party to what's on the tape or to law enforcement, the sources said. But Revel officials told the team that Rice's attorney had a copy and the Ravens should ask the lawyer for the tape, the sources told ABC News.
The Ravens did not ask Rice or his lawyer for a copy of the video. Instead, the Ravens and the NFL asked law enforcement for the video which declined to give it up.
It appears that the Ravens and the NFL didn't put their best effort toward obtaining the video. In fact, it seems that they approached law enforcement for the video knowing full well that they wouldn't be able to get the tape from them.
The Ravens have not responded to request to comment from ABC News.
ESPN's Outside The Lines has further information regarding the details of the tape, including details from a former staffer of the Revel casino:
That former staffer estimates that 25-to-30 Revel security staffers saw the security camera footage of Rice striking Palmer. All of the staffers who spoke with "Outside the Lines" say they were not contacted by anyone from NFL security or the Baltimore Ravens and they are not aware of any current or former co-workers who have been. The TMZ Sports video was shot off of a video monitor with a cell phone camera, one former staffer told "Outside the Lines.
The former staffer also confirmed various details about the night, saying that Rice spit twice on Janay Palmer before entering the elevator and inside the elevator, and that after he exited the elevator, he called a friend, telling the friend, "I'm getting arrested tonight." The staffer notes that Rice spit on Palmer before she began attacking him.