NFL executives knew about the Ray Rice video three months ago, according to a report from the Associated Press. The video, which showed the Baltimore Ravens running back punch his wife, was sent to the NFL from a law enforcement official who wishes to remain anonymous.
League officials have claimed that they were not aware of the video until this week. They have claimed that the first time that they saw it was through tabloid outlet TMZ.
Rice was initially suspended only two games for the assault. The league only reversed its punishment after a video of the incident vividly displayed the violent nature of the attack, drawing a public backlash over the lax response from the NFL.
“We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week.
The video was taken in an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The AP reports that they have obtained a copy of the video which show the two shouting obscenities and Janay Palmer — who is now Janay Rice — apparently spitting in Ray Rice’s direction. Ray Rice then throws a punch, knocking her out. Janay immediately collapses to the floor. Ray Rice is seen dragging his soon-to-be-wife’s limp body out of the elevator.
“Rice had been charged with felony aggravated assault in the case, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record. A prominent New Jersey lawmaker called Tuesday for that decision to be reviewed,” the AP reports.
It was also announced today that Rice would be removed from the EA Sports video game Madden NFL 15 through an online patch. Electronic Arts says that they are removing him in response to the NFL’s indefinite suspension. Rice served as the cover athlete on Madden NFL 13.