League says video was “starkly different” than Rice’s version


Well, now we have an explanation.

It just needs an explanation.

According to Jane McManus of ESPN.com, the NFL informed Ray Rice that it increased his suspension from two games to indefinite because the video they eventually saw showed a “starkly different” sequence of events than what Rice described previously.

In short, the league is relying on the “Ray lied to us” defense, which goes against what Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome described.

Of course, Ravens president Dick Cass contradicted Newsome as well, saying the video “just looks very different than what we understood the facts to be.”

Again, this just gets us back to the problem of not having or not having access to a transcript of Rice’s meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFLPA has three days to appeal the suspension, and a source tells McManus that they’re “considering all options.”

Generally, fighting a he said-she said fight on behalf of a wife-beater is not a position a union would eagerly take on.

But in the current climate, with public trust in Goodell and the NFL at low tide, the might be inclined to.

Click here for more on the Ray Rice case

112 responses to “League says video was “starkly different” than Rice’s version

  1. I have a question, since this is the 5000th artcile on this, who cares? The media is trying to bring down the NFL and Goodell when the fans and probably the players have moved on. Much like with the Redskins team name, the media beleives if they keep saturating us with this crap, we’ll be on their side. It’s a recipe for failure.

  2. The League (Goodell & the owners) doesn’t realize this has transitioned from a Ray Rice issue to a Roger Goodell issue… (not taking anything away from Rice and the problem he caused)

  3. How can telling the commissioner you punched your girlfriend in the face, thus knocking her out, be ‘starkly different’ once you see the video of him doing exactly what he told you he did months ago?

  4. Not condoning what Rice did, but isn’t a 1st domestic violence offense supposed to be a 6 game suspension now?

  5. Of course the NFLPA will appeal. The NFL can’t produce any evidence that Rice lied since the league deliberately didn’t record and transcribe the conversation. That’s an easy win for the union in front of any arbitrator not named Roger Goodell.

  6. ENOUGH!!!! The NFL doesn’t owe ANYONE and explanation of how they dealt with Ray Rice. The NFL is a private business and is not responsible for protecting anyone not on the clock at their places of business. You high-horsed righteous do-gooders need to spend your energy on understanding why what he did was basically un-punishable by the law.

    Good grief man, get over yourselves already.

    I expect this to get deleted by the gatekeepers but at least I feel a little better having written it.

  7. What exactly is a conspiracy theory here? That he saw the video, but then buried it so that he could collect $20 million from the ravens so that they would allow Rice to play?? I don’t even know if people know what they are actually complaining about. He gave away a bad punishment, our Criminal system did much worse than that and does much worse than that every single day. This is not a fireable offense, this is called being human and listening to the victim too much and gave her husband to light of a punishment because that is what she wanted. Although it was a bad decision, it was a simple mistake and he acknowledged as much even before this video came out. They enacted a new policy so that they don’t have to go through this again, but even that might be revisited after this is all done.

  8. PFT`s coverage of this is situation is the worst i`ve ever seen.Somehow what Goodell did or didn`t do is a bigger deal than what Rice did or the legal system didn`t do.I find it amazing that 16 female senators write the NFL about how they should have 0 tolerance
    for domestic abuse.Are you kidding me!How about they write the lawmakers instead.If Rice was in jail they wouldn`t have to worry about the NFL suspending him.A private corporation can punish however they want within the laws.If people really want change for domestic abuse then the outrage needs to be directed at the people that can make changes for the millions of regular citizens instead of someone that can only make changes for 2000 NFL players.What a fake outrage witch hunt.

  9. Just to let you know, the “current climate” isn’t that the public’s trust is low in Goodell. The current climate is that the media is pounding a new story since the Michael Sam story has dried up.

  10. Liberal media is losing traction on trying to take down the NFL.

    Media outlets saw a spike in revenue this week from it so they are happy.

  11. It’s funny really…a judge and DA agree to a plea deal with Rice, no jail time…Goodell listens to Janay’s pleas for leniency and imposes supension far stiffer than the plea deal…Goodell gets judged for being too lenient…

    So, the media is judging Goodell for not being a good judge when there is already a real judge…


  12. The NFL must appoint someone, ala Frank Robinson in baseball, to oversee the discipline of the players. Letting Goodell run the entire show himself, with no oversight, was a disaster. If these ugly events have proven anything it is that Goodell has too much on this plate.

    If Goodell is commissioner going into next season, his role and responsibilities must be re-evaluated.

  13. if the NFLPA isn’t already filing an appeal on his indefinite suspension then they are incompetent and flat out not doing the job they are paid to do

    regardless of out politically incorrect it may seem to defend a so called “wife beater” the fact remains the commissioner doesn’t get to be judge jury and executioner without any explanation or checks and balances

  14. Goodell bargained for power he clearly doesn’t know how to use.

    If he did, we wouldn’t see him undermine his own punishments by changing them a week down the line based on public opinion and then use the new terms to retroactively change punishments already handed down.

    That’s called moving the goalposts, and it’s what people do when they don’t know how to handle their authority and are flaky enough to try and please everyone.

  15. Ask the players what they think. All the fans cares about is the games and besides the victim here was an African American female. I just think that if the victim had been a white woman, the comments would be a little different. This is just a chance to go after the NFL and the Commissioner and rightly so. You people are a joke if you think the NFL didn’t know about the video.

  16. Why so much hate for Goodell and the Ravens when RAY RICE is the criminal here? Let’s focus on him knocking out his then fiance.

    By the way, we are starting not to care. Media beats a dead horse and instead of us agreeing many fans are starting to go the other way just because the media is aggravating and tries to control what we think.

  17. I am as sick of this as the Redskins name thing, and Michael Sam for a while there. Geez when the media attaches itself to something it doesn’t let go and just beats it into the ground. I swear people would barely even know the Ravens had a game last night. 10 articles on Ray Rice/Roger Goodell, about 3 on the game (before and after), then right back on Ray Rice/Roger Goodell.


  18. You are telling me a guy who said he knocked his gf out while he was drunk off his arse couldn’t remember all the details?

    The NFL is treating the public like idiots. What a bunch of aholes. Seriously.

  19. The NFL will justify their position in any number of ways. Instead of admitting that they actually had the original offstage from the outset ( prior to Goddell’s ruling in the 1st place ) they will play this “version” theory for all its worth. The problem is that this issue has become about Goddell’s credibility…not Ray Rice’s left hook.

    As far as the NFL being a “private business”….they get a huge tax break ( literally millions..) from the government through television taxes…so much for that “private business” theory….

  20. WOW…the NFL just flushed Ozzie Newsome down the crapper.

    I don’t know how Roger Goodell and the NFL, with their lack of creditability, challenges Ozzie Newsome and the creditability he has accumulated over the last 36 yrs?

    Not gonna work, Roger…

  21. What’s the difference anyways? Is Goodell and the NFL claiming that it’s not as severe of domestic violence if you slap your wife with an open hand? If she hits her head and gets knocked unconscious on the way down then that’s more acceptable than getting knocked out by a closed fist left hook? Wow…please explain your position on this stance, Roger Goodell. It’s just getting worse and worse the more you open your mouth.

  22. Enough is Enough with this story. I’m sick of hearing about it. Did you hear the announcers last night. “This is the blackest week in NFL history”

    Oh yeah sure, this is the worst week in nfl history, not when a chiefs player killed his wife, kid and then himself….

    get a grip

  23. It is likely a perception issue rather than an outright lie. The police report describes what happened accurately but the language was free of emotion. Rice’s version was likely told with the sound of remorse. Rice could say “I hit her and I’m sorry”. That is true but without seeing it, people put their own idea of harshness in there. Some assumed that she hit her head on the rail and that is what knocked her out. When the people in the league saw the video they could no longer use their own personal perceptions, they now were able to attach an emotional meaning to the even. “He hit her” was replaced with “He hit her on the face with the speed and violence of a professional fighter” within their minds. It was different than what they thought not because “He hit her” was a lie but because their perception of what that means was changed by a video.

  24. “I punched my fiancé in the face and knocked her out.”

    Video, or no, what more did you need to here. And here’s a guess, not one woman was consulted on the decision.

  25. People need to shut up about this. Ray said he hit her yes we get it but that doesn’t mean he told Rog he hit her with a brutal left hook that sent her into the side of the elevator. He told Rog he defended himself and accidentally knocked her out with a jab that put her on dream street. Both were punches but Ray lied about the intent of the punch. So no more stories about how Ray told Rog he punched her and how it’s a scandal.

  26. You are indicating that Ozzie and Goodell were at the same meeting where Ray made his statements. Are you sure it wasn’t two separate meetings thus both versions could be correct, i.e. He lied to Goodell and told the truth to Ozzie?

  27. Do you think the League will tire of lying its face off to its customers soon? Nobody is going to feel sorry for Ray Rice, but only a truly incompetent person could serve as a human shield for the criticism that should be directed towards the person who beat his wife on camera.

  28. The raven’s front office is literally tripping over themselves, lying and contradicting each other. Funny how raven’s fans want this to go away “already.” LOL it’s only been a few days. Spygate happened almost a decade ago, and NE threads are still trashed, Bountygate was a couple of years ago, and their threads are still trashed as well…raven fans can dish it out, but they can’t take it. The entire franchise, from top to bottom, should be fired, they’re all a bunch of liars, especially Newsome.

  29. If Ozzie is right and the video is exactly as described by Rice back then doesn’t that already throw Ozzie under the bus. He traveled with his running back to the HQ to help the defense? Ozzie decided to give special treatment to a person who openly admitted to punching his fiancee with that small amount of provocation. Florio, Darin Grant, if you’re trying to keep the mob’s torches lit to burn down the village, why aren’t we burning down all of the culprits. If its about doing the right thing why didn’t Ozzie make sure the Ravens so openly embrace Ray Rice for these actions.

  30. . @moth25

    “the NFL is a private business and doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone…. ”

    As recipients of massive government subsidies in the form of an antitrust exemption, I think they do owe an explanation.

  31. The endless circle of lies just keeps getting longer and longer. The league seems to think fans have the IQ of a chipmunk.

    Boycott the NFL and kill their TV ratings and game attendance, its the only way fans can have an impact.

    I did not watch the game last night and I will not be watching any until Goodell is gone. I had zero problem finding other entertainment options.

  32. What could be starkly different than Ray saying “I hit her”, and a video of Ray hitting a woman.

    Bottomline is… he hit a woman.

    The League Office is becoming a joke.

  33. Newsome, Goodell, Harbaugh, Biscotti=cowards, liars, men without principle or character–who cares about “all the other good” they may have done–this is the time you show your real character (or lack thereof). Feeble-hearted little cowards. The world now knows it, but you will all buy whatever lying narrative you are sold at the end of the day. We know what Ray is, leave him and his wife alone. I hope for her sake this is not a pattern of behavior, but these things rarely occur in a vacuum. Leaders stand up and take responsibility–boot licking little cowards play the spin game, test market PR approaches, use glamorous words to mask the stink of their wretched actions. This is what the NFL is all about. Don’t act surprised.

  34. The Rices got into a fight, fights are not pretty. Then the Rices made up

    This is not first time in history there has been a fight and then those involved made up and went on

  35. Roger Goodell must go~The NFL is losing credibility with each passing day. No tolerance. A gentleman walks away. Call the police if a woman assaults you. pretty simple.

  36. You don’t have a transcript? I thought transcripts were for public statements or interviews. Does Congress get a transcript for every meeting the President has? Does NBC put out a transcript for every organizational meeting or disciplinary interview/review, how about the Supreme Court? Get a grip on reality.

  37. LOL…What a freaking joke! So another words Goodell and the NFL condone hitting a women as long as it’s in “self defense.” That was the assumption they have us believing. They saw a lifeless Janay in the elevator being dragged around and Rice admitted he hit her…Unfreakingbelievable!

    There is no excuse for hitting a women or child period.

  38. Agree with FinFan68 that this is probably more an issue of perception than dishonesty. Bisciotti said last night that he’d been told what happened. But what he pictured in his mind was far different than what was on the video. Stark reality often differs dramatically from what we imagine.

  39. With Roger’s “none of your business” attitude, it’s time for our elected officials to review the NFL’s tax exempt status.

  40. Again, this just gets us back to the problem of not having or not having access to a transcript of Rice’s meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.


    I didn’t realize that the NFL was a public entity that is required by law to keep transcripts of meetings and turn them over upon public records requests.

    I guess you learn something new every day.

  41. Ray Rice is still the only person involved that punched a woman in the face.

    There seem to be a large number of people that feel that punishment or the “cover-up” are bigger than the incident.

    I don’t think it was handled properly but the anger moves the spotlight from where it should be. The crime, the criminal and the victim.

  42. A man violently assaults his fiancé and the ire of this site is directed at his employer? These articles are replete with second guessing and criticisms of what Goodell should have done after the fact. It’s as if the incident could have been undone if the league would have just gotten the tape. Or acted the way this site claims it should have.

    Here’s a “news” flash for PFT: if Ray Rice simply behaves consistent with what is expected of the rest of society, there’s nothing for Goodell, or anyone, to do.

    The disdain this site has for Goodell and the owners has robbed the authors of all objectivity and rational thought as it relates to those individuals.

    The stones held by those in the glass house must be placed on the ground. Otherwise, PFT will continue to be as, or more, hypocritical than the entity which it continues to crucify at every perceived opportunity.

  43. Didn’t think it possible, but this is overexposure and sensationalism is even worse than the Hernandez coverage…

    Bottom line is this: How much $ would the Rice’s make if Ray wasn’t indefinitely suspended vs. how they lose because he is….

    Therein lies your answer for all of this

  44. How many of you ere are NFL employees just trying to get this story to move along? Huh? This story stays until Roger goes, or the truth comes out. Don’t like it? Don’t read it, and don’t beat your wife either. Fools.

  45. this is the same league now who when you cheat on salary cap such as the niners and broncos (twice)….you get super bowl rings. The penalty is a slap on the wrist, lose a 6th rd draft pick, and everybody involved gets nominated for the hall of fame.

    same league where as a coach you cheat and tape other team practices , win a super bowl , then the league makes a film bio about you and states you are called one of the greatest coaches ever.

    same league who keeps coming up with more and more dumb rules so the refs can throw a flag when ever they want, and will have another dumb rule to justify the call. Let em play the game!

    Same league who makes a NFL teams play one of their home season game in London, and still makes you pay full price for a meaningless pre-season game, with no compensation for the lost home game…..really if you want them to play in London, Berlin, Mexico City, etc… let it be in the pre-season.

  46. Remember the good days of us complaining that Goodell & the NFL boys were “ruining football” with all their rule changes & debates where a defensive play should/should not hit a offensive player?

    The only ones “ruining football” are the social justice warriors & liberal media who make the PC story-lines for public consumption. Michael Sam, Redskins name & now Ray Rice story. Nice thing is, you can always change the channel or mute the soap-box commentary.

    I watch football & will continue to watch football. I come to this site to read about football. Perhaps one ought to start a new blog called…..profootballpolitics.com, slate.com/football or something. You can be the philosophical TMZ & high-brow all of the “neanderthals!”

  47. Can all Ray Rice links start getting directed to this site, and not be added to the main listing of articles about anything besides Ray Rice?

  48. What did they need to see, a couple enters an elevator one comes out unconscious ? Rice admitted to striking her months ago….Roger should just come out & say initially he didnt take it seriously enough & he changed his mind on what the suspension should be.

  49. Even without the tape, there were people who saw Janay’s face after the incident and police reports that were written about it. There’s a big difference between the marks left by a slap and those left by a punch thrown by a professional athlete on someone advancing towards the fist. Were those accounts and evidence also unavailable?

  50. Considering punishment was doled out, then they came up with a set of rules to deal with these situations a couple weeks afterward, THEN ignored those new rules entirely to punish Rice further when no new facts came to light…

    I think Rice could win in a court of law.

  51. I think the people raising the most hell about this are people who already had it out for Goodell; New Orleans fans for bountygate, Jets fans who believe New England cheated them for years, union supporters who resent that the union got its clock cleaned by the owners; and then there are the folks out there who hate the NFL and football, and of course, the Nags from NOW, looking for an issue to make them relevant. Add in the media who are generally lazy and will ride a story until it’s past dead.

    If people are truly to be upset about this, and I don’t think anybody really is, they should be upset with the authorities in New Jersey who let Ray Rice walk with a slap on the wrist. Most of the time, NFL fans complain about Goodell handing out penalties they view as too harsh, especially when the penalties impact their teams. In this case, Rice asked that his wife be able to meet with Goodell. I’m sure Rice and his wife gave a very emotional appeal to Goodell and being human, he relented and gave only a two game suspension; still a much harsher penalty than handed out by the authorities in New Jersey.

    I wonder how many people could truly sit across the table from Rice and his wife, under these emotional circumstances, and deny the wife’s request for lenience for her husband and their family’s financial condition.

    Yea, Goodell. What a evil SOB.

  52. Biscotti needs to sell the Ravens, pure and simple. Ozzie needs the death penalty by be quartered in the town square. Oh and Roger, Roger, Roger needs to be burned at the stake for witchcraft, if he’s a witch he’ll survive if not he’ll tell the truth before he dies and we’ll get him the best medical treatment. But they are all part of the problem!!! They all hate women. Don’t you all see!! hey hey look at me, I’m saying something crazy, HEY! pay attention!!

    Because that makes perfect sense.

  53. I miss football 😦

    I blame Ray Rice, the NFL and many others for making me miss football DURING football season.

    The NFL was wrong. Ray Rice was wrong. Our society’s moral compass is wrong.

    Can we just have football now? We know life is all screwed up. That’s why we watch football! It’s a little bit of right mixed in between commercials reminded us of what’s wrong.

  54. …so what was different? It sounds like the NFL are the only ones who didn’t realize that he did in fact knock her out.

  55. So other than arguing that the league should have punished him more severely in the first place, what else can they say? Would they really want to try to return him to a two-game suspension now that the world has seen the video?

  56. SHOCKER!

    The punk that knocked a woman out cold because he thought it was OK because that’s what punks do lied to his employer, the NFL, his boss, the fans, and, well everyone.

    Pucks be punks. Some grow up. Others stay punks.

  57. Nice!! I hope that if I ever end up in court for assaulting a woman the judge will judge/sentence me based on MY description of the events!!

    The calamity continues…

  58. I believe NFL/Goodell is lying…

    but is incompetence a good excuse to keep his $44M a year job; seems we should expect more

    funny, Kraft’s “I was duped” excuse seems to work for these guys…… may be just me, but I’m not sure I’d like to be thought of as dumb… may be better to be a crook

    Goodell needs to be fired this week!
    and Kraft and owners need to be investigated and monitored (at least as long as the NFL has that anti-trust excemption)

  59. Baddegg
    You just may get your wish.
    Drew May very well FINALLY get his Explanation.
    Thank u Lawd.

  60. According to 4 people there, Rice told the commissioner he hit her and knocked her unconscious. What’s ambiguous or different than what the tape shows?

    Now the Wall St Journal is saying that Goodell was “uncomfortable” challenging Janay Rice’s story. Which is laughable for a trained attorney, and one with so much on the line.

    How much more embarrassment can the NFL owners take?

  61. I wonder if after Ray Rice told Goodell that he struck his wife so hard he knocked her out, that he had no concern about her at all? He seemed annoyed that her lifeless body was now a huge inconvenience for him. Moving her body with his feet like he wished he could hit her again. Maybe that’s why the suspension increased?

  62. @wrdtoyrmama says: Sep 12, 2014 2:14 PM

    How much more embarrassment can the NFL owners take?

    A lot actually. Because they are not mindless sheep on here buying every absurd story line that the media is throwing out there.

    At the worst case, Roger Goodell and the NFL are guilty of poor judgement on a suspension decision. Big deal. They corrected it. Just because you and some other idiot commentators on here buy into this media fueled witch hunt, doesn’t mean any NFL team owner is going to, or even a sensible NFL fan for that matter.

  63. So here’s the kicker. The initial charges were levied equally against both of them. One could possible believe that Rice and Janay would tell a milder version of what happened. But the charges against Janay were dismissed and the charges against Rice were upgraded so it makes no sense that they would take Rice’s word that they were equally culpable. Don’t they read police reports? Don’t they have an army of investigters?

    They are either lying or showing a level of imcompetence that is worth of Goddell being terminated.

  64. So the league’s position is that when Rice gave his verbal description of what happened his words were less graphic and not characteristic of the animal like behaviour we saw, and they are surprised that the reality of the video was more graphic.

    Man wouldn’t they make a good school VP back in the day … LOL. Are you kidding me. You take what the guy says and double the severity, the culpability, and you have reality … no one but a psychopath can describe themselves that negatively.

  65. truthfactory says:
    Sep 12, 2014 12:31 PM
    What exactly is a conspiracy theory here? That he saw the video, but then buried it so that he could collect $20 million from the ravens so that they would allow Rice to play?? I don’t even know if people know what they are actually complaining about. He gave away a bad punishment, our Criminal system did much worse than that and does much worse than that every single day. This is not a fireable offense, this is called being human and listening to the victim too much and gave her husband to light of a punishment because that is what she wanted. Although it was a bad decision, it was a simple mistake and he acknowledged as much even before this video came out. They enacted a new policy so that they don’t have to go through this again, but even that might be revisited after this is all done.


    Truthfactory, the reason for all the attention is that they keep LYING and you havng thousandas of reporters diggin up information or second guessing their blatant lies. After the Ravens released Rice, which was within ther rights to do so, the NFL should have never suspended him. No team is going to ever sign him anyway so what was the point. Now they keep digging themselves further and further in a hole by creating the opportunity for more stroies.

  66. If the new domestic violence rule dictates a 6 game suspension for first-time violators, why was Rice suspended indefinitely? Can’t Roger follow his own rules?

  67. Some of you are constantly making comments about the “liberal” media, and I wish to set the record straight for those of you who continue to believe this myth. There is NO liberal media! All six major media outlets are owned by conservatives. This happened about 35 years ago when conservatives bought the outlets to try and control the message. The lone hold out was Ted Turner and as you know he no longer owns anything. If you wish to continue to believe this – fine, but please know it’s not true.

    Thumbs down only means, you can’t handle the truth. Try Googling, and find things out before spouting off lies!

  68. Fire this clown Goodell already. All he’s doing is trying to save his hide from his and the NFL’S joke of a penalty system.

    The NFL and their attorneys are typical corporate scumbags that pretend like their angels while they rake in piles of cash.

    Then as soon as they get called out for their joke of a marijuana and domestic violence penalty then all of the sudden it’s the employee that lied.

    Uh no dbag the only one that’s lieing are Goodell and the NFL league office

  69. The NFL remains a couple steps behind, just as they’ve been throughout this whole debacle. They’re arguing about what Rice said when the focus has now shifted to the fact that Goodell is a proven liar. And in trying to make Rice look bad they just keep providing more evidence of how untruthful they themselves are.

  70. Goodell claiming that Ray Rice’s version of the event was ambiguous is ridiculous. If Goodell didn’t have a clear understanding of the event he should have told Rice during their meeting in his office “there is no possibility that you will play again until I have a clear and unambiguous understanding of what happened in the elevator.” That’s on Goodell for not asking for clarification.

  71. Surely someone took notes. I was layed off from a job I had worked at for 20 years due to economic reasons as part of a mass layoff. They called us in a room in small groups to inform us we were being layed of. Human Resources had enough sense to have a person take notes of everything that was said publicly during the meeting. Your telling me the NFL didn’t take notes ? Roger Goodell should be fired just for being incompetent. He ran the NFL like he was Judge and Jury of a Kangaroo Court! The guy needs to go. Also, to the 32 NFL Owners, just because you are a billionaire doesn’t make you smart. On this one all of you guys are looking like a bunch of dumb a—s!

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