NFL 'Will Look Into' Claim Its Executive Received Ray Rice Video 5 Months Ago
The NFL says it will investigate a report that claims one of its executives was sent video footage by an unnamed law enforcement agent that appears to show former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer.
“We have no knowledge of this,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday when asked about the Associated Press report that claims a 12-second voicemail from April 9 confirms someone at the league knew about the tape, which was posted online Monday by TMZ.
“You’re right. It’s terrible,” a woman says in the voicemail, according to the AP.
“We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday,” McCarthy said. “We will look into it.”
According to the AP report, the unnamed law enforcement agent – who was unauthorized to release the video – says he did not talk to any other NFL employees and cannot confirm that anyone watched the video.
In a statement sent out to all 32 club owners and chief executives, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL asked law enforcement for any video, but not the casino itself.
“[On] multiple occasions, we asked the proper law enforcement authorities to share with us all relevant information, including any video of the incident,” Goodell says. “[We] did not ask the Atlantic City casino directly for the video.”
Rice was dropped by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after the video was released.
His wife, Janay, has since defended him on social media, saying: “To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.”
UPDATE: The NFL has now said that former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct a probe into how the NFL handled evidence as it investigated domestic violence claims against former Ravens running back Ray Rice. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement Wednesday that the investigation will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.