The NFL took a lot of criticism for its handling of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s domestic assault on his then-fiancee (they’ve since married) over the summer.
There was an outcry at Rice receiving just a two-game suspension, especially considering security video showed Rice casually dragging an apparently unconscious Janay Palmer from an elevator in an Atlantic City casino hotel.
Though that footage was disturbing, it left in question what actually happened in the elevator and no video was made available.
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But, being the incident took place in a casino, it was always a good bet that such a video existed and now, according to TMZ, it has turned up — and it’s led to the Ravens terminating Rice’s contract and the NFL suspending him indefinitely.
According to the gossip site, the NFL got to see it before the decision was made to suspend Rice.
The league issued a statement denying it had seen the video before Monday morning.
According to a spokesman: "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today."
We’ve embedded the video from TMZ below, which has been edited to cut out the choppiness of the security camera, but have to warn you that it is graphic and disturbing:
For what it’s worth, in the aftermath of the ruling and subsequent outcry, commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new, tougher policy on domestic assault cases for NFL players, with a first offense leading to an automatic six-game ban and a second offense resulting in a lifetime ban.
The first test of the new policy could come soon, as San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested and charged on a felony domestic violence charge just days after the new policy was announced.