NFL

Liar, Liar, Goodell's Pants on Fire: Cops Say Ray Rice Video Sent to NFL in April

NFL commish's statements don't square with new evidence

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The NFL would like you to believe that it never acquired the surveillance video of Ray Rice punching his now-wife Janay Palmer from law enforcement officials. Pinky swear. 

At least that's what commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS News This Morning host Norah O'Donnell today as he tried to salvage what little face he had left in the wake of the scandal surrounding the former Baltimore Ravens running back. 

In fact, Goodell goes so far to say that police flat out denied the league access to any footage stating: 

We were told that was not something we would have access to. On multiple occasions, we asked for it. And on multiple occasions we were told no. I understand that there may be legal restrictions on them sharing that with us. And we've heard that from attorneys general and former attorneys general.

Now, the Associated Press reports that law enforcement did in fact send NFL executives a full copy of surveillance footage from the incident back in April citing evidence of a 12-second voicemail from an NFL staff member confirming that the video had indeed arrived on April 9. 

Goodell originally suspended Rice for two games in July for the domestic violence incident—a decision that was widely panned by pundits and fans. After TMZ released the full tapes on Monday, the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the league suspended him indefinitely. 

The latest revelations further suspicion that Goodell and other top execs had seen the tape and are covering up knowledge of the incident. Calls for Goodell to step down are growing—and some in the press are even floating former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's name as Goodell's replacement. 

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  1. I’ve rarely seen such a to do over nothing.

    He wasn’t prosecuted over the fight but the NFL apparently could have still suspended him for up to 4 games. Now they have violated their own contract, stay tuned for the lawsuit.

    1. The NFL is about 75% public relations and 25% football. And this incident is really crapping all over the 75% part of things. So it’s not “nothing.”

      1. Check your premises.

        Does your public relations include adhering to politically correct causes and sensibilities? If so, to what extent?

        Do you think that there is any evidence to support the proposition that adhering to politically correct causes and sensibilities has played even a teeny-tiny positive role in attracting fans?

        Do you think that people like me spend thousands of dollars per season going to different NFL venues because of the NFL’s pink breast cancer awareness month?

        1. I don’t know. Domestic abuse is a pretty serious issue and I’m pretty sure the NFL is keeping a lid on the truth on how many of their players bit their wives/girlfriends up. Didn’t a player kill his girlfriend last year?

          Count me in as one where I think the NFL just needs to take it seriously and lead the way. They won’t win this battle in the halls of public opinion.

          The NFL also proved to be rather cynical here. Giving the interview to CBS was clearly orchestrated and they simply are using the denial argument like they do with concussions.

          And Goodell’s Bambi eyes are not cutting it either.

          Last, the Ravens are not innocent either. They too only reacted rather than be proactive.

          Meh. Maybe I’m wrong.

          1. Okay, but how does that affect the bottom line?

            Its the game. Not adhering to politically correct causes and sensibilities.

            The NFL would be much better served by just concentrating on its product – the game.

            1. Yeah LM, but…life gets in the way as we see. The NFL has to learn how to navigate through issues like this.

              They failed. Epically.

              1. Seems to me that they failed by going after Rice. I’m not a Rice fan. I scarcely have watched “pro” football since Tom Landry was unceremoniously dumped by the cretin who bought the team – and what little I used to watch was reduced an order of magnitude when the NFL players had their crybaby strike.

                But if Rice’s girlfriend attacked him (and it appears she did), does he not have every right to hit her back? And should he be punished because he’s better at throwing a punch than she is?

                She made the decision to go after him. She got knocked out. Sounds like justice to me.

                As for the NFL – why should they even be involved in this? In an era where the criminal justice system (more criminal than just) brings heat to people who innocently carry their firearms across state lines, leave their children in cars (literally) for four minutes, drop flash bang grenades in toddler’s cribs in pursuit of a $50 drug bust, and commit highway robbery on innocent people, I’m sure they’d be happy to bag an NFL player – if he had actually done anything wrong.

                Let’s turn this around – if Ray Rice had attacked his girlfriend, and she had, by some miracle, knocked him out, who here would be calling for her head?

          2. Didn’t a player kill his girlfriend last year?

            Jovan Belcher, ILB for the Kansas City Chiefs, murdered his baby momma at their home in KC on an early Saturday morning before driving to One Arrowhead Drive and committing suicide in front of Head Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli.

            Incidentally, it was the most offensive performance by a Chief during that 2-14 season.

            1. There are a lot more incidents that get no press as well. Greg Hardy (DE, Carolina) threatened to kill his girlfriend this offseason and is currently awaiting trial. Larry Johnson (RB, KC) used to make a habit of going out, getting drunk and spitting on or assaulting women in the clubs. I won’t say it’s a problem for most players, but it’s definitely a problem in the NFL.

              And then there’s the question of why, if this video was available to law enforcement, they didn’t nail Rice to the wall for what he did. Just how involved was the NFL in the sentencing process? Did they influence or even lean on local prosecutors to try and go easy on Rice? Goodell is hardly one to take a passive route…wouldn’t surprise me if they do a bit more digging and discover that he was far more involved in this situation than he’s admitting, And that’s definitely a problem, if true, because it opens up the question of whether they do it in other cases that didn’t have video evidence.

              1. Wouldn’t surprise me if the DA looked at the video, saw that she attacked him and he countered with the knockout punch and concluded that if he was going to prosecute anyone, it would have to be the woman.

          3. Last, the Ravens are not innocent either. They too only reacted rather than be proactive.

            I keep looking at this from a business perspective. If one of my employees was arrested for domestic violence, would I immediately fire him? I know, I know, these guys are public figures so it’s part of their job duties to have good standing. So I can understand how someone convicted of beating their significant other has trouble doing that full job.

            But on the flip side of that, I don’t think it is proper for a company to fire someone based on ALLEGATIONS. I’m not saying it should just be illegal, just that as a boss, I don’t want my employees fearing a false accusation ruining their livelihood. And for a long time, that was what was indicated. Now, maybe they saw this video earlier in which case, yeah, they should have acted then the way they acted when this video went public. But I’m not certain based on my reading of what went down that is the case. Right now it is a bunch of CYA Cops saying one thing and a CYA NFL saying another.

            1. Video puts it beyond allegation; he slugged his beloved unconscious.

        2. Do you think that people like me spend thousands of dollars per season going to different NFL venues because of the NFL’s pink breast cancer awareness month?

          Could you imagine the reaction if the NFL said they were going to choose some disease other than breast cancer to spend a month highlighting? Say, pancreatic cancer in honor of Gene Upshaw, or leukemia in honor of Chuck Pagano? The pink ribbon bullies at the Komen Foundation would have a conniption fit.

  2. 4 games seems to be the going rate in the NFL for failing a urine test. I guess it’s twice as serious as beating your wife unconscious in an elevator.

    1. Not “a” urine test, if memory serves it is at least two or three tests before suspension kicks in.

      The League’s drug policy was started after the media had a moral panic about athletes nearly killing themselves with drugs 20+ years ago. Now we’re having a moral panic about domestic violence which a football is not very well equipped to adjudicate.

  3. The NFL fined him 500k and suspended him, the state of New Jersey hit him for about $200 and he had to go to a class. The outrage seems misplaced even if you think the NFL didn’t do enough, they at least did something.

    1. Yeah but they fumbled – excuse the pun – the way they handled it.

      1. Moreover, it’s THE NFL. It’s not a rinky-dink organization we’re talking about here. This is an entity so big it actually has influence over people.

        I just think they missed especially considering women make up a large if not growing part of their fan base.

        1. How many women do you know who are fans that have announced that they are quitting the NFL because Ray Rice only got a two game suspension or because Roger fibbed.

          BTW, I can’t stand Goodell or any of his crony capitalist bosses.

          1. You’re right. I don’t think there will be that big a fall out. But keep this up and there will be.

            The league will remain but will the Commissioner?

  4. This just gets better and better.

    1. We’re going to go with “a cop said” as proof that Goodell is lying? I don’t know, man, I’ll have to wait to hear something more trustworthy.

      1. There was a voicemail from the NFL confirming receipt of the video. You don’t have to take anyone’s work for it.

        1. *word

  5. Oops.

  6. Who cares when the NFL knew about it?

    We know (and *knew*) that the NFL only jumps on players when they embarrass the league, not because they ‘did something wrong’ but because that act embarrassed the league.

    Until the video became public the league wasn’t embarrassed.

    If we pay attention to what people *do* (not act until there’s public outrage) rather than what they *say* (‘oh we don’t tolerate domestic violence at all’) then this shit wouldn’t be surprising.

    1. Bingo. And it wasn’t surprising, because we already knew the league is only concerned about PR and nothing else (besides making shitloads of cash).

      1. Yes, shitloads of cash…like literally every other business in the history of ever has tried to do. Not picking on you epi (bc you don’t mean it that way) but the progtardian wealth envy on display when anything NFL comes up is fucking tiring.

  7. Condoleezza Rice? Really?

    1. Can we have her back as Secretary of State instead?

      1. No. Just no.

        1. She was at least more articulate than Lurch.

    2. Maybe we can get the feelz out with THE FIRST FEMALE NFL COMMISSIONER and avoid THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT with Hilary and Lizzy.

      1. Fine. Put Hillary in charge of the NFL.

        1. So will she let Ray Rice back in? What difference at this point does this make?

        2. I dunno. Lizzie might be a better option given the Redskins debate.

  8. A brilliant comment on the Washington Post article covering this story:

    This lady is a republican pure and simple. A republican couldn’t lead themselves to the out house without a democrat helping them let along lead the NFL. Since she is out of government and can’t be a war monger any longer, I guess she turned to football.

    1. Brilliant until implying Dems fit to lead much of anything.

  9. Janay didn’t press charges against Ray so isn’t this one of those victimless crimes that libertarians don’t think should be crimes?

    1. It’s not a victimless crime. Janay Rice is just in a bad spot no matter the outcome (because she was foolish enough to marry him after this). If this case were just about Janay Rice, I’d say it should be dropped, but (for me at least) it’s about digging into just how much the NFL covers up criminal wrongdoing by its employees.

      It’s unfortunate that no outcome will likely help Janay Rice, other than rejnstating her husband so he can keep getting a paycheck, but then she did double down on a bad decision…which was her choice.

      1. So are you saying that businesses should be in the, er business of punishing their employees beyond what the law held? Set aside your rather loose definition of “cover up”, should Target let you know how many people have MJ Possession wrap sheets when you walk in?

        On the one hand, I have no love for the NFL and its “Check the winds of public opinion” method of punishment. But on the other, I am really sick of people acting like the NFL has an obligation to the public to act as second punisher supplementing the justice system.

        1. If a business wants/doesn’t want a batterer in employ, yes, they may decide.

          And how is an act which harms no one but, arguably, oneself remotely analogous to punching a woman unconscious?

    2. Short answer: yes. Her wishes should be, and are, honored by the State.

  10. I find Goodell’s actions here baffling. If he wanted this to go away he should have just explained his thinking for the initial two game suspension. The sports pundit trolls like Lupica and Feinstein would have screamed and stamped their feet in rage, but it would have blown over. Now Goodell’s extending the clock on that issue plus telling a lie he must have known he would have been called on faster than the interview was done.

    Oh well, maybe Goodell could apply to become Obama’s next press secretary?

    1. As usual the coverup is what gets you.

      1. Exactly. Which makes the CBS interview a joke.

        Go face real journalists who will ask tougher questions – or at least persist in asking relevant questions.

        1. Are you suggesting that a network in a financial relationship with the NFL might not have been impartial or zealous in it’s investigation of this matter?

          Next you’ll be telling me that ESPN isn’t objective regarding the NBA.

          1. ESPLN.

            Entertainment and Sports Programming Lebron Network.

      2. This is a terribly incompetent cover-up. A decent cover -up should at least buy time.

        1. Goodell is an incompetent commissioner, so an incompetent cover-up shouldn’t be surprising,

          I’m just surprised that it took this long for him to really screw up. After he burned the evidence in Spygate and lied to Congress about concussions, I’d figured people would see through him by now. Or at the very least when he kept fixating on his stupid idea of a team in London. He’s the Obama of professional sports…utterly brainless.

  11. It’s appropriate that Reason is covering this since libertarians know all about misjudging public opinion.

  12. Ohhhhh fucking WHATEVER! Jesus!

  13. Instead of Condoleezza Rice than how about Oprah? Or Wanda Sykes? Or Gabourey Sidibe?

  14. How many people realize that Goodell isn’t publicly elected?

    He works for the owners.

    If the owners thought it would be better if this were played down, what difference does that make?

    New Jersey can still prosecute him or not. That isn’t up to the NFL or Goodell.

    And if the people of New Jersey get upset with their local prosecutors, they’re certainly entitled to do so…

    Gee, the commissioner did what he thought was in the best interests of the league?

    So what?!

    Did the commissioner break any laws?

    If you enjoy being mad at people, why not be mad at Ray Rice?

  15. Apparently the FCC is now trying to force the Redskins name change. Is that part of that social tolerance and the libertarian moment?

    1. Jesus Christ.

    2. Okay, here’s what I found:

      “While the name might be offensive, Wheeler suggested that his agency, which controls the licenses to TV and radio stations that show football games, probably would not use its powers to force a name change. Earlier this summer, a George Washington University law professor asked the FCC to revoke the license of one of Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio stations over the team’s name.”

      http://thehill.com/policy/tech…..derogatory

      I think we’re safe from the FCC for now, but that doesn’t auger well.

      Meanwhile, you wouldn’t believe the shit they say on “Black Jesus”, which, incidentally, is probably the best thing on television right now.

      It’s n-word this, n-word that. They even got people calling Jesus the n-word on that show–nobody gives a happy goddamn. The Redskins name change has just become another Progressive wedge issue.

      …it’s like yet another way for them to lash back at heterosexual society for denying gay people the right to get married for so long. Pretty soon they’ll sue the Cowboys for not having any gay male cheerleaders.

      1. The showrunner is the guy behind “Boondocks” comic and cartoon. He has a dispensation to use the “n-word”, because it is not racist if a black person uses it…which is a racist idea in itself.

        1. Quick, Somebody do a genealogy search on Dan Snyder!

          There’s gotta be a Native American in the woodpile somewhere.

        2. It’s not just the n-word…

          They got Jesus smokin’ weed.

          They got Jesus growing weed!

          They got JESUS usin’ the n-word!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HASqtHdRWvA

          Check him at 1:30.

          I can’t believe they can say that shit on television.

          That isn’t HBO/Showtime. Maybe the censors don’t stay up that late?

          And they got time to worry about the word “Redskins” being broadcast on TV–like it’s been broadcast since television was invented?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KsiJ26Rj9I

          Gimmie a freakin’ break!

          1. Cartoon Network/Adult Swim is a cable/satellite channel. FCC has no jurisdiction over those. They can only control broadcast stations.

      1. I’m sure Reason will be all over the FCC for such a censorious attitude? Anyone…?

    3. They should pick up Rice (after they quietly rescind the “indefinitely” ban) and call themselves the Beaters.

      The Wifebeaters doesn’t work, because that’s an article of clothing. 🙂

  16. I just on the news where the Sports guy mentioned the Redskins FCC story, Goodell and that tape, Sterling and the Atlanta Hawks as all combining to prove some crisis in American sports. It’s almost like they are trying to force a narrative here. Something tells me it won’t be about government-funded sports stadiums.

    1. Considering how the Democrats are pretty openly in favor of censorship and will ignore the law whenever appropriate I think we all know what this is heading for…

  17. So I read that Robert Reich once played Earl Williams in a performance of The Front Page. Doesn’t seem so funny now since he an even bigger Commie than Williams was.

  18. I’ve seen the video and have a hard time figuring out what she was doing just before she got knocked out. Was she attacking Rice? Had she already hit him? If so, it’s the woman who should be punished – not Rice.

    When did it become normal to lose your job when you get into a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend?

    I’m not a fan of Rice. I only even know who he is from this incident. But it seems that maybe he’s being hounded because he threw a more EFFECTIVE punch than the woman who was attacking him.

    Guess the lesson here is, when you attack someone, you don’t get to dictate how they are going to respond to your attack.

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