BY Art Thiel 02:55PM 09/10/2014

Report: Video of Rice punch sent to NFL in April

A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive three months ago, while Commissioner Roger Goodell and league officers have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week, according to a story Wednesday by The Associated Press.

According to AP, the person played  a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. The person said they were unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

The NFL has repeatedly said it asked for but could not obtain the video of Rice hitting Janay Palmer — now his wife — at an Atlantic City casino in February.

The league says it has no record of the video, and no one in the league office had seen it until the website TMZ released it Monday. When asked about the voicemail Wednesday, NFL officials repeated their assertion that no league official had seen the video before Monday.

AP is not publishing the name of either the law enforcement source or the NFL official who received the video from that source. Shortly after the report was published, the NFL released a statement saying the league will look into it.

The person said he sent a DVD copy of the security camera video to an NFL office and included his contact information.

Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games following the February incident, creating a firestorm of controversy over perceived leniency. The Ravens released Rice Monday and the NFL suspended him indefinitely after the website TMZ released the video.

Goodell told CBS Tuesday that “no one in the NFL, to my knowledge” had seen a new video of what happened on the elevator until it was posted online.

“We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity,” Goodell said.

Carroll says, “NFL got it right”

Speaking to reporters at his weekly news conference less than two hours before the AP story broke, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the termination of Rice after the video went public was the right call.

“I think that the commissioner and all of his backers, they’ve got it right,” Carroll said. “It’s unfortunate that it took more time than people’s patience, but we understand why. He’s done a good job to this point, but it’s tough that everybody’s on him so hard about it. Seems like he used the information well once he got it.”

Carroll acknowledged that the episode has changed his view regarding player evaluations.

“It will never be the same,” Carroll said. “Unfortunately, I’ve got to admit, my awareness is different than it was, and I don’t think it’ll ever be the same as it was.

“I’m glad that I can say that now, because hopefully we can prevent or head off any kind of issue that could come up in the future. Unfortunately, we had to see an incident that elevated our awareness to really get it to the right place. It’s unfortunate we have to learn the hard way sometimes.”

Carroll had been asked about injured CB A.J. Jefferson, who signed with the Seahawks in August after a domestic incident last year, when he was with the Minnesota Vikings.

Jefferson was arrested in November on a felony count of domestic assault after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend during an argument. He was immediately cut by the Vikings and suspended for four games by Goodell. But the suspension was lifted for undisclosed reasons.

Jefferson finished the season on injured reserve with the Cleveland Browns. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic assault for which he served a suspended sentence of three days in jail.

He signed with the Seahawks in May, but sprained an ankle and was waived off the roster with an injury settlement.

Carroll said he talked with Seahawks players about domestic violence Wednesday.

“Unfortunately after such a serious incident, generally our awareness will grow, and we’ll be better off because of it,” he said. “For the people that have been involved with that, our hearts go out to them and the depth of their pain. Hopefully we’ll just do better and we’ll be better for it.

“It’s an extremely serious situation. We made them aware that we will help them in any way if they have concerns about it. We will try to elevate their awareness. I think it’s another example of an enormous situation that people learn from and grow so much from.

“Hopefully, the process and visibility will bring an awareness throughout our society. We need to take care of one another better and we need to respond accordingly.”


  • maoling

    If the “unnamed female at the NFL” acknowledged receiving it on April 9, that’s five months ago, not three as stated in the AP report. Regardless, if true, it makes Goodell either a big fat fibber or at least incompetent. Hard to believe the video could be kicking around at NFL headquarters for five months and only one person admits to seeing it.

    • Edgar Martinez

      Fibber is about the nicest way to state it. It makes him an outright horrible liar of the worst kind and will likely cost him his job if true.

      • maoling

        Yeah, lol. I didn’t want to call him a liar until this story gets longer legs. But I don’t see how he keeps his job if he told a whopper that.

        • maoling

          or even a whopper “like” that. Wish this site had an edit feature.

          • Edgar Martinez

            It does have an edit feature. Just click the “edit”

        • Edgar Martinez

          You really have a way of giving lies cute names. HAHA

    • Trygvesture

      THE Key phrase, obviously scripted by NFL lawyer team: “to my knowledge.” THAT is such a pathetic CYA caveat, as clear as fresh window glass in its intent to protect and provide plausible deniability that one has to just puke.

      Think about it: Rice dragged his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator. Dragged her. out. of. the.elevator. unconscious. That mighta, just mighta suggested a problem. A BIG problem. And it mighta suggested it to everybody and anybody — any.body. But, not to Goodell? Right. There were witnesses. Witnesses who heard her say when she recovered consciousness something along the lines of ‘why did you do that to me, the mother of your child?’

      I heard about it, the witnesses saw it ( they’re on the video, too) but the NFL didn’t? The NFL with their FBI guys on staff, 24/7 couldn’t get that news, locate the witnesses (plural, some on the casino staff)? Or see the implication of the woman being dragged out of an elevator unconscious? Unconscious?

      So they perpetuated the cover up, tried to give their feigned ignorance credence by imposing a two game suspension– logical if they found out nothin much happened. But it’s a transparent strategy of deception if considered in the light of day.

      They had and saw the video from inside the elevator. We can believe that now. It was surely packaged with the video from outside the elevator– casinos keep rigorous track of people as everybody who’s ever placed a bet knows– no gaps. (And, remember… there are data that suggest NFL games may have actually been betted upon…).

      The whole thing is an intentional, planned coverup that would amaze even Nixon in it’s transparency and ineptitude. Even if they didn”t see the punch, uhhh, 1+1 might just be 2?

      It says just one thing; it screams just one thing: Goodell et al didn’t want to let it get out and hurt the NFL PR machine, implicate the image, impact jersey sales. Period.

      What would any of US do if saw her being dragged out cold-cocked unconscious? Find and ask questions of witnesses, maybe? Get the video from inside the elevator that we know exists — even as common knowledge from watchin movies? Ask what probably made her unconscious if she wasn’t drunk?– and Rice didn’t answer when asked if she was, either.

      Aaargh. Nauseating rich white guy power play without conscience. Blech.

  • RadioGuy

    Something I find interesting is after the Rice incident was first reported (with the initial video also released), the Seahawks saw fit to sign a player who choked his girlfriend last fall while a member of the Vikings and had him on the field during the preseason last month before letting him go because of an injury. Yet, Pete Carroll is quoted above as saying the commissioner “got it right” by suspending Rice indefinitely.

    Do as I say, I suppose.

  • jafabian

    When Goodell suspended Sean Payton, who claimed he didn’t know about the bounties his coaches offered to Saints players, he said ignorance is not an excuse and suspended him for a year. I can’t help but think the shoe is on the other foot now.