Ravens reiterate that ESPN report contains “inaccuracies,” without identifying one

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In response to Friday afternoon’s bombshell report from ESPN regarding the Ravens’ gross mishandling of the Ray Rice investigation, the Ravens said only that the report contains “numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings.”

But the Ravens didn’t mention a single error, inaccuracy, false assumption, or misunderstanding. And they still haven’t.

Speaking to the media in connection with the Ray Rice jersey exchange, in which more than 7,000 fans participated, Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said (via Rick Ritter of CBS Baltimore), “There are inaccuracies in the report. We’ve been transparent and will continue to be.”

Exactly when have the Ravens been transparent?  Sure, plenty of folks started talking after the second Rice video was released.  Before that, however, the Ravens seemed to be focused on privately and publicly propping up Rice, wrapping their arms around him even though, according to the ESPN report, the organization knew that he had swung his closed fist into his then-fiancée’s jaw, knocking her “the f–k out.”

This is new territory for us,” Byrne said.  “It’s an unusual time for the franchise.  We’re learning as we go.”

They need to be learning — and they need to be sharing — exactly what they contend is wrong with the ESPN report.  If there are “numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings,” it should be easy to identify and rebut them.  After all, the topic has been a fairly hot one for the franchise in the last 12 days, and previously.

“Right now we’re focused on Cleveland and will address this next week,” Byrne said.

Sorry, but that’s not good enough.  The story is too big and its implications too significant to justify hiding behind a looming game day.  Besides, it’s not as if the players will be the ones crafting the response.

The deliberate delay creates the impression not of transparency but more damage control.  Instead of standing up and telling the truth, it seems the Ravens have used the cover of an approaching contest to justify planning and plotting a plausible response to the report.  One that will preserve the employment of as many people as possible.  One that will keep the league office from dropping the hammer on anyone who may have misrepresented to the Commissioner the severity of the incident.

One that will keep relevant law-enforcement officials from commencing the process of exploring whether any state of federal laws were broken in connection with the team’s apparent effort to minimize Rice’s ultimate legal responsibility, to shorten his suspension, and to keep the public from realizing exactly what Rice had done.

56 responses to “Ravens reiterate that ESPN report contains “inaccuracies,” without identifying one

  1. As much as I enjoyed it, it is no longer about abused women; it is about beaten dead horses. What was once a domestic violence discussion should be considered an animal rights one. There are games tomorrow. Remember… football?

  2. Why do the Ravens “need too” satisfy the media? Will it change anything? Most of us all ready know they’re just in CYA mode. What about the games?

  3. “This is new territory for us,” Byrne said. “It’s an unusual time for the franchise. We’re learning as we go



    They didn’t learn from the Ray Lewis murder 14 years ago?

  4. This is a gutless, self promoting melodramatic post by somebody I typically enjoying watching and reading.

    There’s a game tomorrow. Can we focus on that for 48 hrs or so?

    Plenty of time to unravel the rest of this “juicy” story (that most football fans stopped caring about 3 days ago) next week. I couldnt give a rats a $$ about the presumed Ravens posturing

    Who’s coming out of the AFC North Mike? How many teams? How are the Ravens going to run the ball with a banged up Pierce?

    Focus on that, and less on this tired story.

  5. The ravens don’t care about off-field issues unless it becomes a PR nightmare like Rice’s did. Look at Ray Lewis for example. Dude helps murder someone and they build a statue of him. Ravens are the scum of the NFL. All they care about is wins.

  6. ^Agreed. At their core, the Ravens and the NFL are about football. And I don’t really blame them for trying to calm the storm to not distract the players from the game tomorrow, rather than stir the pot some more by providing more headlines.

    #over it.

  7. Of all the weeks during the football season, for any team, the best week if you need to focus on something else is the week you are going to play against Cleveland. Or Tampa Bay, but especially Cleveland.

    Next week is the Panthers, after all…

  8. Nothing here is a scandalous. It was just common actions of a business trying (and failing) to make sound decisions for the business to stay at maximum profitability. I would love to know where this unseen pressure to discredit the NFL is coming from. First we have leaked Jerry Jones photos and Dean Blandino in the Cowboys party bus with strippers. Then the Ray Rice thing gets re-treaded even though anyone following already knew what the video would look like and now its open season on the personnel lives of all NFlers.

  9. You can make a mistake and most of us will forgive you for it. What really pisses us off is when you lie to us and try to assume that we are idiotic chumps that will believe anything that you tell us.

    The NFL and Ravens should realized this. We are not pissed about what Rice did. We are pissed because you think we are stupid and will buy your lies.

  10. Goodell is Lying, Ravens are lying!

    Time for the NFL to change. Or they won’t see a cent of my money.

    I will also start to protest sponsors until the NFL cleans up. IDK what poll ppl are talking about but the fans will speak out. And that will be loss of revenue to teams and sponsors.

  11. One thing that’s really odd about all of this is that no one is pointing the finger at the legal system. Why aren’t we concerned over their handling of this case? We criticize a private business and how they dealt with an employee, but not the state’s prosecution, where real justice should have been delivered? It’s backwards. As a private enterprise, the NFL’s only true obligation in all of this is to maintain a positive public image and they reacted accordingly. Ray Rice received very rare treatment in court. That must be Goodell’s fault, too. Again, it’s just backwards.

  12. You still trusting in Ozzie, Ravens fans?


    I’m not a Ravens fan, but I still trust Ozzie. According to the ESPN report, he’s the only Ravens executive who’s admitted Rice told everyone–including Goodell–the truth about what happened in the elevator. Yes, like everyone else, he tried to get Rice into a diversion program and save the RB’s career. But he didn’t lie and throw Rice under the bus to save himself once the video came out. And Ozzie is still one of the best judges of player talent in the game.

  13. So, the legacy of Modell’s lies, sleaze, and business practices continues to live on.

    Good, Baltimore wanted them and Baltimore deserves them….and all that comes with it!

    The way the NFL is acting, maybe Modell does deserve to be in their HoF.

  14. Ravens better be careful, dont want to get on the bad side of an organization that cares nothing about journalistic integrity… look at what happened to Belichick and the Pats after he declined the Jets HC job.

  15. Typical from the Ravens organization. First support a women beater with a standing ovation and then cant identify a single error or inaccuracy in espn reportings. I wouldn’t trust the owner or the gm in that no class organization.

  16. In fact, the very first publishing of the piece on Friday had a note in the story about former Ravens offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley watching Baltimore’s opening game against the Bengals with Rice in his Reisterstown home. That would have been impossible — Shipley played for the Colts that night in Denver. Twenty minutes later, the part of the story that referenced Shipley had been removed.

  17. Iam not a Raven fan and don’t trust Ozzie because he has been in thick with the thieves during their brain trust meetings trying to mislead the public. He is part of the corrupt inner circle called the brain trust….what a play on the words trust and brains.

    Some are saying they are tired of this whole story wanting to move on…great! So just like the mortgage fiasco they favor letting the criminals go free…pretty gutless I say. I am in favor of penalizing the liars up to and including Goodell if proven guilty. The integrity of the NFL is at stake.

  18. The Ravens are weighing when does the athletes worth to the team vs his conduct become a distraction? The Ravens would like to keep Rice on the team but they have the damn league office to contend with. They know the fans would allow almost anything as the Ray Lewis case shows.

  19. Please stop reporting on this. We really don’t care anymore. You are doing a great disservice to your loyal readers. Read through your comments. ITS OVER

  20. Didn’t we just have a story where Brandon Marshall told how ESPN lied to him in order to fill their own agenda? And aren’t the Ravens busy with an away game against a division opponent in Cleveland?

  21. As a Ravens season ticket holder I have moved on. Ray Rice strikes woman. Ray Rice loses job. Hope he learns lesson and wish the best to his wife. Team has learn lesson. NFL handling of issue poor and there will be consequences. Other than that…..it’s back to football and focusing on a surprising good Browns team.

  22. Ravenspa. This ain’t Kansas and you ain’t Dorothy. You can’t close your eyes and make this story disappear anymore. Your boys have been exposed. Learn to live with it. It ain’t going away anytime soon and it shouldn’t.

    Balitmore management tried like hell to have this swept under the rug like the Ray Lewis and Dante Stallworth stories. The rest of the NFL fanbase isn’t as stoopid as you and the Raven fans, so it will continue on. Accept it. Your owner and GM are worried about one thing and one thing only. Winning. Which is okay, unless you’re classless turds like Bisciotti and Newsome.

  23. Sorry Ravens fans, a story isn’t “over” just because you wish it to be so. I understand that you’re sick of it, the story is sickening.

    But the fallout from the entire sordid episode is far from finished, so you better get used to it. Still in doubt: whether Rice’s appeal is upheld, whether an embattled Goodell can keep his cushy $44 million a year job, whether there will be punishments forthcoming for the Ravens’ organization … oh yeah then there will be the release of the Mueller report.

    Instead of whining about the neverendingness of it, you may as well make some popcorn and settle in.

  24. Two 1st round draft picks need to be forfeited. Max fines imposed and Coss suspended 1 year.

  25. It’s been 7 years and spy-gate still gets brought up all the time. And with all of the dysfunction and cover up brought to light by the Rice situation I know now it will never go away; not when Goodell (more than likely under pressure from the owners, Kraft in particular) destroyed the evidence in the case after his “investigation”…… And if he could have he would have destroyed the Rice tape for Bisciotti.

    Point being get use to this Ravens fans. As a life long Patriots fan I can tell you the scrutiny is not going away any time soon.

  26. You have a team that at this point appears to have been complicit in a cover up of Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend out with a brutal punch.

    You have an owner, that despite this, was promising this woman beater a job for life when he is done with football according to the texts on Rice’s phone.

    You have a league office that was either incompetent with its investigation or complicit in the team’s desire to cover this incident up.

    Also, one has to question how Rice got such leniency from the legal system. Who from the Ravens or league was interceded on Rice’s behalf? I don’t think any of us believe that Rice just got lucky with the legal system outcome.

    The games on Sunday will be a welcome break from all the off field news this week…but it is by no means time to move on yet. There are still too many unanswered questions about the Ravens and the NFL League Office to move on.

  27. Hopefully, people start seeing the reality of how misogynistic our culture is in general, and this doesn’t just end up being media fodder.

    I see NFL writers who’ve been covering the sport for decades suddenly up on their high horses for things that have been going on forever: bounties, the redskins, violence and drug abuse, crippling head trauma, etc. Are your imaginations so poor you need a video to make you care, or are you just like the teams and corporations running it? Willing to let it go as far as public opinion will allow it.

  28. Funny, because Ray Rice’s lawyer told everyone back in February the following:

    “We are confident that by the time all of the facts are in the open, the public will have a complete and true picture of what actually transpired.”

    Not unlike how a week after the Rice incident SI reported that the tape, that was eventually leaked, showed without a doubt what transpired. You would think with all the money the NFL spends on background checks and PI’s for their players someone would have at least followed up on the SI story.

    So please, what inaccuracies are the Ravens brass referring to? After all you would think they would have learned by now that covering things up is what’s driving this train wreck.

  29. Nothing to see here, let me get back to doing the work of the American people.

    For a generation now we’ve heard people refuse to answer questions and after a day or week or month say “it’s time to move on.” Well, it’s not.

    As the writer points out, were laws broken? Behind the scenes there surely is an investigation as to why a high profile athlete with the backing of his team was charged with a felony but allowed into a diversionary program since less than one percent of the population is treated this way.

    Owners want to know why their commissioner was influenced by one of his friends. And why Roger has at his disposal a security force consisting of former FBI agents and policeman who can get anything but failed to do so. And why the Ravens trotted out Janay Palmer and tweeted she was sorry for her role.

    One thing is for sure. Ravens’ fans don’t understand why the rest of the league despises this franchise – the one that honored a murderer with a statue.

    The fans disrespect the singing of the National Anthem and don’t give a damn about Jacinth Baker, Richard Lollar or Janay (Palmer) Rice. Now let’s play football!

  30. This story is far from being over. The Ravens’ organization clearly demonstrated unethical and frankly irresponsible behavior. They must be held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, it appears Roger Goodell
    participated in this scandal in some capacity. This is completely unacceptable on so many levels.
    The real victims in this story are Mrs. Rice, Baltimore sports fans, NFL fans across America, and NFL sponsors. We all deserve better and we all deserve answers.

  31. Well I for one care about how this Rice/Raven/Goodell situation plays out. It sheds a whole new light on what a select group of owners, Goodell and the NFL are willing to do to protect each other. For those of you who are tired of hearing about it……just wait until something like this or spygate or bountygate affects YOUR team. When you have a team that builds a statue to a murderer and the NFL allows him to be elected to the HOF and has a history of coverups, it is borderline criminal and there has to be accountability and appropriate punishment. The NBA had the courage to force Sterling to sell the Clippers for making racist remarks, does the NFL have the courage to do the same with Biscotti for a major coverup, attempts to bribe Rice with a future job, interfere with a police investigation, lie to Goodell, etc. etc. We know the slap on the wrist that Isray got as $500,000 fine is pocket change to a billionaire who carries tens of thousands of dollars cash around in a plastic bag in his car. I think Mark Cuban hit the nail right on the head in regards to the NFL self-destructing.

  32. ESPN- the same outfit that brought you MICHAEL SAM…SHOWERGATE!!!! Move on losers. PFT needs to get off this, and start talking about football again. It’s ridiculous that 85% of the stories now have absolutely nothing to do with football. I’m close to deleting my bookmark, and going elsewhere.

  33. goforgin01 says:
    Sep 20, 2014 1:53 PM

    Focus on that, and less on this tired story.

    They won’t! This will continue about a month after its been so beaten into the ground you will support Ray Rice. Not for beating his wife but because the media has pounded their views into you everywhere you turn until its absolutely intolerable. They did the same thing last year to the Dolphins. Over and over and over and over everyday it was unreal. I’m so done with this story and the gossipy way its being handled. I mean really you guys aren’t getting a Pulitzer here if you crack some huge conspiracy or cover up about how this was poorly handled. Everyone who has half a freaking brain knows they tried to sweep it under the rug and got caught. Get over it and can we talk about football games now?

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