Goodell outlines Rice investigation for owners, says league didn’t “directly” ask hotel for video


In a memorandum sent to NFL owners on Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell said the league did not “directly” request surveillance footage from the Atlantic City hotel in which ex-Ravens tailback Ray Rice struck his now-wife in an elevator in February.

In the memo, which was posted on on Wednesday, Goodell said the league’s “understanding of New Jersey law is that the casino is prohibited from turning over material to a third party during a law enforcement proceeding, and that doing so would have subjected individuals to prosecution for interference with a criminal investigation.”

Goodell continued: “Moreover, our longstanding policy in matters like this — where there is a criminal investigation being directed by law enforcement and prosecutors – is to cooperate with law enforcement and take no action to interfere with the criminal justice system. In addition, in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation, information obtained outside of law enforcement that has not been tested by prosecutors or by the court system is not necessarily a reliable basis for imposing league discipline.”

Goodell’s admission that the league did not reach out to the now-closed Revel Casino Hotel seems to validate a Tuesday TMZ report citing unnamed Revel-connected sources that claimed the hotel never received an inquiry from the NFL on getting video footage of Rice’s altercation with Janay Palmer. It also answers one of the unanswered questions from Goodell’s Tuesday interview with CBS, as well as one with USA Today.

In the memo, Goodell again said the league did not see the video of Rice striking Palmer in the elevator until Monday, when it was released by TMZ. Goodell also said the league “asked the proper law enforcement authorities to share with us all relevant information, including any video of the incident.”

Goodell concluded the memo by telling owners the league was changing for the better with regard to its policies on discipline for sexual assault and domestic violence.

“I believe that we took a significant step forward with the enhanced policies on domestic violence and sexual assault that were announced last month,” Goodell wrote. “I also know that we will be judged on our actions going forward. I am confident that those actions will demonstrate our commitment to address this issue seriously and effectively, and will reflect well on the NFL, all member clubs, and everyone who is a part of our league.”

103 responses to “Goodell outlines Rice investigation for owners, says league didn’t “directly” ask hotel for video

  1. How dumb does he think we are? The one thing in life that really grinds my gears is when people insult our intelligence.

  2. “information obtained outside of law enforcement that has not been tested by prosecutors or by the court system is not necessarily a reliable basis for imposing league discipline”

    So why has the NFL suspended Rice on information that has been obtained by TMZ?

  3. There’s nothing Goodell can say about the investigation at this point that is anything but double talk trying to save his own rear end.

  4. “Of course we didn’t ask for all of the available evidence before making a ruling. I’m RG dammit and I don’t need evidence to decide right from wrong. I might have seen something that could cost the league real money. Now THAT would be a problem.” – Roger

  5. Goodell can try to spin this as much as he likes, but at the very least, he should be held to the same level of responsibility as he claimed Payton was for Bountygate.

  6. Ray Rice’s attorney had a copy of the tape. Why didn’t they ask him for the tape. Or better yet, make it a stipulation to get back into the league.

  7. If they didn’t know all the information, then he should have waited on issuing the initial suspension until they had all the information. He blew this one big time.

  8. ” information obtained outside of law enforcement that has not been tested by prosecutors or by the court system is not necessarily a reliable basis for imposing league discipline.”

    So, does this mean that the newly imposed “mandatory one game suspension” for DUI must be prosecuted first? A little double speak, methinks.

  9. I’m probably in the minority, but I accept this explanation. Now please tell us why you didn’t make Ray Rice and his attorneys produce the video.

  10. It really doesn’t matter. Seeing a guy drag a women out of an elevator moments after they were seen walking in tells the story. This is about a corrupt commissioner that will do anything for money.

    Get him out, he’s done enough to ruin the game. As fans we need to take a stand

  11. Meanwhile, MLB purchased stolen documents related to the Biogenesis scandal in order to identify who was purchasing steroids/HGH/testosterone. A little overzealous and illegal perhaps, but a stark contrast to what the NFL would do.

  12. Roger did nothing wrong here. He did what was expected of him by the owners. It is the media that has blown this up.

  13. apeters79:
    Sep 10, 2014 3:40 PM
    “But what about when the criminal investigation was over?”


    In the entire memo, Goodell mentions the NFL league office still considers the investigation open because Rice is still in his intervention program that was part of his plea deal, so the video is still the property of the police department.

  14. .
    “I also know that we will be judged by our actions going forward. ”

    ” I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to talk about the future. ”

    Which statement is Goodell’s?

    Which is noted baseball cheat, Mark McGuire’s?

  15. People on this site love to bash Goodell even when he doesn’t deserve it. The issue isn’t about getting the tape. It is about changing discipline policies based on the social and regular media mob mentality that surfaces after any issue they can make a story out of

  16. I really didn’t care one way or the other about Roger Goodell.
    It is only his inaction (bordering on negligent) handling of this case that bothers me.

    Time to step down Roger.

    You burned your credibility with the original 2 game suspension.
    You then followed it up by not coming forward yourself to face the music.
    Instead you had other employees explain the issue instead of yourself.

    Truly a coward not deserving of the job.

  17. Roger you are being judged by your recent actions. You are an arrogant POS that is stealing money from the NFL and not protecting the shield . Do the right thing and suspend yourself infinetly.

  18. Funny how Goodell said that “Not knowing” was not a legit excuse when punishing the Dolphins for what was going on between Incognito and Martin.


    Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy are still playing.


    I used to support Goodell. Now, I think HE should be suspended.

  19. Unlike MANY on here who constantly spew their venom toward Goodell, I have NEVER had an issue with his leadership of the league and feel like he’s been a solid commish. That said, I am 100% in support of him either being suspended or FIRED for this. This looks HORRIFIC on the league and is a serious black eye. No way to explain away how terribly this was handled and the excuses being carted out now. I hope ALL media and fans DEMAND accountability over this until it’s made right.

  20. Who cares what the league asked for. Rice was seen pulling his unconscious girlfriend out of the elevator like a sack of potatoes. He admitted to slugging her and tearfully apologized to the public. The elevator video shows us nothing new.

  21. Goodell is only lucky the Ravens organization comes out of this looking even sleazier than he does….

  22. Why wouldn’t ask for all of the evidence before punishing rice? Maybe you really didn’t want to see all of the evidence making your job a lot easier.

  23. “I believe that we took a significant step forward with the enhanced policies on domestic violence and sexual assault that were announced last month,”

    We are talking about a professional sport here, correct? Or is this about an asylum of law-breaking individuals called “NFL”??

  24. Funny how the official story still in no way can explain how unnamed NFL sources accurately described that second tape to reporters months ago. I guess they just guessed and got all the details right? Time for new lies from the Commish.

  25. Haha. Leave it to Goodell to spin their bungled investigation of the incident, as taking a step forward.

  26. Okay. How bout this compromise. You can keep your job. Just reverse all the stupid rule changes. Matter of fact, let the players and fans vote on rule changes

  27. He certainly asked for the Patriots videos! Let’s all just agree that GODdell and the league handled it poorly and made the proper adjustments. Remember everybody, this is the first commish that has actually created a real conduct policy. Players weren’t getting fined and suspended 10 years ago for domestic violence issues. These things were considered private matters to be handled by the law and the couple. Let me ask everybody out there, does your company get involved in these matters? Didn’t think so.

  28. Jerry Jones is secretly furious about this whole Ray Rice fiasco but only because its diverting attention away from his yearly circus in Dallas.

  29. While the average father in this country tries to figure out how he can afford to take his kids to a game with the absurd costs of tickets, parking, food and drinks, Goodell rakes in $90 million in two years. Good for you Roger and the NFL owners.

  30. In NFL speak: Hotel=Casino. Restaurant=Strip Club (see Jerry Jones statement on sexual harrassment lawsuit). Don’t worry honey, me and the boys will eat at a “restaurant” before quietly retiring to the “hotel”. It’s long past time for Roger to use his forked tongue to lick boots elsewhere.

  31. This is just one in a long line of screw ups for the king. He really should do the admirable thing and just resign.
    Then we can hear from his assistants about all the other cases where he had personal vendettas and used the shield as his weapon.

  32. If his explanation is indeed legally correct, it does make sense.

    The furor would have been less if he had stated this information this clearly, BEFORE today.

    But if you think that you legally have to get the evidence from the police alone, and then they don’t give it to you, then you do have to make a ruling without watching it.

    The initial punishment that they handed out was stupid, and he also should say if it was light because Ray Rice and the victim both pleaded something like “it wasn’t as bad as you think”

    He doesn’t deserve to lose his job over this though.

  33. How can he report to the owners without touching on the fact that he effectively punished Rice twice for the same thing and has opened them up to a lawsuit as a result? They saw her being dragged out of the elevator unconscious and Rice admitted to knocking her out. That was good for a two game suspension according to Goodell. Then, later on Rog decided that going forward it should be 6 games… but that still wouldn’t apply to Rice’s case. But now the suspension has become “indefinite” with no new facts emerging? Hope they’ve got their checkbook ready because they effectively have no defense when Rice sues them.

  34. So, Roger is saying that the NFL relies exclusively upon information that has been vetted by prosecutors or the courts, right?

    Roethlisberger? What was the difference there?

    You set the precedent, Roger. Now live with it.

  35. Bar is set high in this country on battering women now. As with Rice any man should be banned from his employment and receive justifiably, no mercy no second chance and no job. Since Congress is in this now it should be a national law forbidding those who make the mistake of battering their girl friend, wife, child or dog to lose their job and flip burgers. Seems NJ is reinvestigating this Rice event and if he goes to jail for a first time offense then all men in similar circumstances should face jail to. All the self-righteous morons are missing the point, you are willing TMZ ,a gossip organization as scummy as tabloids, reporters, and fans to destroy a man who made a mistake, first time I believe, destroy his wife and child to make a buck over sensationalized images of a very bad drunken action, blaming the wife for standing by him. The real issue I bet lots of you scum bags have hit your wife, child or dog out of anger and the real issue it’s an epidemic issue in this country. Tens of thousands of men brutalize women, children and dogs daily and they get away with it. That’s the crime here, multiple occasions doing a heinous act. With Rice losing his LIVELY HOOD ALL MEN ACCUSED OF WIFE, GIRLFRIEND, CHILD AND DOG ABUSE NEEDS TO LOSE THIER JOB AND NEVER ALLOWED BACK INTO THIER CHOSEN PROFESSION AGAIN. THE BAR IS SET HIGH NOW.

  36. I’m buying his explanation.
    I’ve always thought TMZ had far more power and influence than the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
    You gotta be kidding me!

  37. Goddell is no saint. He’s got his issues. But the level on intellect in these comments telling him what to do is the funniest thing in the world.

    Give me a break. These are highly complicated matters. Criminal State law issues, issues involving the NFLPA and the negotiated labor contract, sponsorship deals and reactions, major money at stake, prosecutor and law enforcement issues, and many things “I’m not smart enough to know, what I don’t know”. I’d like to see any of you try to do better with millions watching.

    That said, could they have done more? Starting with the initial RR suspension, no doubt yes. With their investigation…I’m guessing yes.

    Now let’s say they obtain a copy of the video and break the State Prosecutorial law doing it. Then you’d see all these posts about Goddell thinking he’s above the law.

    These are “no win” situations. I’d love to see some of you not pee your pants the moment your in front of a press corps dealing with these things. You are so tough on here! You’d be crying for mom there.

  38. Oh my lord you Morons. And no, I’m not talking about Goodell or the NFL. I’m talking about the mindless sheep on here commenting – that hop on every bandwagon of any obsessed fueled conspiracy theory that the media stirs up. Get over it.

    Goodell and the NFL acted accordingly. Everything Goodell explains here makes perfect sense. To say that the NFL should have gone around law enforcement, when it is specifically their policy not to do so, because some evidence has now come to light AFTER due process was completed is the complete joke. Not the other way around.

  39. Why did RG and Ravens head honchos go to so much trouble and end up in media hell for this particular player: an aging RB with his best years behind him coming off a lousy season in 2013? That’s what I can’t figure out, unless it’s to do with the salary cap. Domestic violence has been around for eons. Why is this particular couple setting off this firestorm? I guess social media and sites like TMZ now rule all. We all can kiss privacy goodbye because cameras rule. How are kids ever supposed to be normal with videos of beheadings and beating up women everywhere.

  40. Even Congress is calling BS on Goodell now. I think he’s done. He’s made the owners a ton of money, but for whatever reason he was clearly content to sweep the Rice situation under the carpet and it’s coming back to bite him. He’s drawing too much bad attention to the league. The owners are going to ask him to go.

  41. “mcmccii says: Sep 10, 2014 3:53 PM

    Barf. This sleazebag is disgusting. Why does a video have to come out for the league to take “significant steps forward”?”


    Because the video is what hurt the public perception and pushed them into making the decision they did. They were not going to make that decision otherwise.

  42. Goodell outlines Rice investigation for owners, says league didn’t “directly” ask hotel for video.


    Start a petition……FIRE ROGER GOODELL!!!

  43. Laughable comment from Goodell. If he didn’t ask directly for it then he wouldn’t want it. My father ran the Security for a large International Bank in NYC. Protocol was when a criminal event occurred and the incident was taped many times it was handed over to the police or the party investigating. Goodell didn’t want that tape because he didn’t want to suspend Rice. This is another question that needs to be answered. Why didn’t he follow standard operating procedures that so many businesses follow.

  44. I’ve seen earlier reports where Goodell claimed the NFL requested all pertinent evidence from law enforcement. “Pertinent evidence” in this case obviously would include video of what actually took place on the elevator. Goodell is not telling the truth in this case. He knew what this video showed even if he had never seen it. This video being leaked by TMZ just forced the Ravens and Goodell to cut and suspend Rice. But they already knew what had occurred on the elevator. Goodell needs to go! Prediction, Goodell will be forced to resign over this scandal when it comes to light that NFL investigators essentially knew the content of the video from the get go! It will boil throughout the season but finally the owners will say enough is enough and cut ties with Goodell and he will “swim the fishes”!

  45. The video was originally property of the casino. The police were able to subpoena a copy as evidence in their case against Rice. When charges were filed, the prosecution had to give Rice a copy of the evidence against him, including the elevator video. A judge can impose a gag order on the participants in the trial to avoid prejudicial publicity that might taint a jury pool against the defendant. He has no authority to gag outsiders such as the casino or newspapers or tv stations or TMZ.

    So the NFL’s claim that NJ law prevented them from getting a copy is bunk. At most NJ law enforcement couldn’t give the league a copy. But there was no restriction on them getting a copy from Rice or the casino.

  46. There are alot of mad people on here for no reason at all. All of you people come on here and talk tough behind a keyboard. And talk about boycotts all you want, at the end of the day your @sses will still be planted in front of your TV’s watching these games, yet come on here and talk a big game, like boycott the NFL and Goodell should be fired. The media needs to let this go and move on. Apparently Ray Rice’s WIFE did and she’s the one that got smoked in the elevator and not you.

  47. if I come before goodell accused of beating my woman and admit to it does he have to see the tape to suspend me for it?

  48. @bambam4 says: Sep 10, 2014 4:29 PM


    Stop pissing on our leg and telling us its raining.

    We are not as dumb as you think we are.

    NFL fans

    Yes you are even dumber than they think you are. The ones pissing on your leg and telling you its raining is the media you fool.

    And you certainly don’t speak for all “NFL fans”

  49. Except for Stephen A Smith and Peter King, no one is buying this excuse, Roger.

    Initially, the NFL and the Ravens acted in a way that, should their little plan to sweep Ray Rice’s violence under the rug fail, which it has, they would need plausible deny-ablity* for not having taken the obvious action of viewing the elevator footage.

    All these statements that Goodell has been making these past few days are the “Plan B” scenario that they were prepared for.

    Not buying it, Roger.

    *turns out it’s not plausible at all

  50. Hindsight is 100%

    Given the information they had at the time, as well as, the interview with Ray and his wife led to the initial suspension.

    Now with the full video, it’s very apparent the events that actually transpired were contrary to how it was portrayed by Ray & his wife.

  51. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. That memo a CYA memo. Resign already. You have ruined my NFL. Geez..

  52. Since when is media speculation the truth?

    The media craves attention and makes money off of it.

    I dont think Goodell should be fired.

  53. “The hotel wanted $50 to make a copy, the owners committee said I would have to pay for it my self if I wanted it. So I had to pass, I had a family to feed.”

  54. keylimelight says:
    Sep 10, 2014 4:41 PM
    Except for Stephen A Smith and Peter King, no one is buying this excuse, Roger.

    Please add Mr. Mara, Mr. Kraft and myself to the list.

    Thank you.

  55. The key part of this statement is where he says “the league’s UNDERSTANDING”. Surely if the league had asked for the video & been told no and why they couldn’t have it, this statement should read “the league WAS TOLD”. By saying it was their understanding this conveys the stance they didn’t ask for the tape because they thought they couldn’t get it. I would think they should have be confirmed for definite. This is looking more and more like incompetence on the league’s part in investigating what it is a very serious issue.

  56. He’s basically pleading his case that he should be forgioven his “mistake” that has made the whole league look rotten.

    He nor no one else needed to see that video to know what took place before he dragged her from the elevator unconscious, but he is now beside himself, insisting that everyone MUST understand that he just didn’t know how bad it was.

    You will never live this down Roger. You should be considered an accomplice after the fact as you strove to cover this all up.

    Resign and do something honorable in your life. For once.

  57. The perp minimized the incident by assessing token punishment which was basically no punishment. In doing so he reflected, expressed, and further institutionalized the league’s attitude toward the basic issue. If the league wants to demonstrate and assume a new attitude toward such abuse, they need to clean house starting with the perp in question.

  58. Let’s see how all you defenders of the NFL with such special and inside knowledge of how the law works will react to the proof that the NFL received the video on April 9th. Voicemail confirmation. He lied, he made a mockery of dv, and a woman brutalized, he’s done, done, done.

  59. Just reported was a law enforcement official claims he sent the video of the punch to the NFL in April. Goodell being caught in a lie ??

  60. kisstherings–you have been proven to be a know-nothing idiot. Thanks for playing. Goodell is gone by Friday. Bank it.

  61. The Associated Press is now reporting that a law enforcement official sent the league the tape three months ago. You can search for the AP’s Twitter feed to read the whole thing, but there is also a 12-second voicemail that confirms they received it, and the voice said, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
    Roger is trying to hold his lies with a sieve.

  62. Why did it take seeing the second video to understand what had happened in the elevator? Did you think he knocked her out with his BREATH???

    Why did it take people actually SEEING the violence for them to react properly? What the HELL did they THINK happened???

  63. The explanation from Commissioner Goodell is reasonable and I have no cause to doubt it. There is alot of misplaced anger in the comments. I am most outraged that the domestic violence laws in most states are as lenient as the ones in NJ. Put your anger to use and try to effect change in your own state.

  64. Ahhhh. Remember the good old days when our attention was focused on the name “Redskins” and whether or not a gay could be accepted in the NFL. Now we’re going to prosecute, judge and convict in the driven court of public opinion. (It’s obvious that Goodell committed a worse travesty on mankind than Ray Rice).

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