When it comes to the NFL’s reaction to the Ray Rice video, the league has refrained from clearly and unequivocally saying that Rice lied about his actions inside the elevator. But Commissioner Roger Goodell has strongly hinted that bad information came from Rice.
During his interview with Norah O’Donnell of CBS, Goodell said, “[W]hen we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”
Said Goodell in a separate interview with Christine Brennan of USA Today, “What we saw was new evidence [Monday] that was not consistent with what was described when we met with Ray and his representatives.”
So why not simply say Rice lied? If he did, the indefinite suspension could have been tied to the obstruction of an official NFL investigation. Instead, the NFL has opted not to claim that Rice was suspended because he lied, creating the impression that Rice has been punished twice for the same conduct.
So what if Ray didn’t lie at all? What if there were no ambiguity in what he told the NFL?
The ball is now in Rice’s court to respond to the subtle, vague suggestion that he sold to Goodell a set of facts that conflicted with the video that surfaced Monday. While not compelled to say anything, Rice could complicate things even more for the league office if Rice says, “I told the NFL exactly what is on the video.”
A transcript or recording of the meeting could help resolve that question. If a transcript or recording exists. If it does, maybe we’ll have to wait for TMZ to buy it.