Statement from Ravens regarding ESPN report

[Editor’s note: The Ravens have issued a statement in response to the ESPN report regarding the handling of the Ray Rice investigation. The full statement appears below.

We at the Ravens have promised to be open, candid and transparent with our fans, sponsors, ticket holders, and the general public.

This past Friday, ESPN.com’s “Outside the Lines” feature ran a story entitled, Rice case: purposeful misdirection by the team, scant investigation by NFL.

Later that day, we released this statement: “The ESPN.com ‘Outside the Lines’ article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings. The Ravens will address all of these next week in Baltimore after our trip to Cleveland for Sunday’s game against the Browns.”

What follows is our response. Many statements and allegations from the article are attributed to unnamed “sources” and people “close to” the Ravens. In our determination to maintain transparency, our responses are provided by those directly involved, and each is named.

1. From the article: (the reporters) found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night.

Steve Bisciotti (Ravens Owner): “As I stated in our letter to you on September 9, we did not do all we should have done, and no amount of explanation can remedy that. But there has been no misdirection or misinformation by the Ravens. We have stated what we knew and what we thought throughout – from the original report of the incident, to the release of the first videotape, to the release of the second videotape, which revealed a much harsher reality. As we said in our response to ESPN’s questions on Friday, it was our understanding based on Ray’s account that in the course of a physical altercation between the two of them he slapped Janay with an open hand, and that she hit her head against the elevator rail or wall as she fell to the ground.”

2. From the article: But sources both affiliated and unaffiliated with the team tell “Outside the Lines” a different story: The Ravens’ head of security, (Darren) Sanders, heard a detailed description of the inside-elevator scene within hours and shared it with Ravens officials in Baltimore.

Darren Sanders (Director of Security): “I did not receive an account of what happened in the elevator “within hours” of the incident. Within a couple of days, I asked the casino and the Atlantic City Police Department for a copy of any videotape of the incident. They said they could not release a copy of the videotape to me. Some days later—I believe it was on February 25—I spoke to an Atlantic City police official again, asking again whether I could get a copy of the tape or, if not, whether I could come to his New Jersey office and view it. He said I could not, but he did offer to view the tape and describe what he saw. (As I understand it, he was describing a raw video, not the “cleaned up,” “smoothed . . . out” version that appeared on TMZ.) He said that Ray and Janay both appeared to be intoxicated, and that they were involved in a heated argument that began outside the elevator and continued inside. As he described it, Janay appeared to initiate the altercation, but they both spit at and struck each other, resulting in Janay falling and hitting her head against the wall railing. The officer could not tell from the video whether Ray slapped or punched her, but Ray told me very clearly that he did not punch her. It was not clear from the officer’s account whether it was being intoxicated, being hit, or hitting her head against the railing that caused Janay’s apparent unconsciousness.”

3. From the article: …asked by the Sun whether the video matched what Rice had told them months earlier, Newsome conceded that it had. “You know, Ray had given a story to John [Harbaugh] and I,” Newsome said. “And what we saw on the video was what Ray said. Ray didn’t lie to me. He didn’t lie to me.”

Ozzie Newsome, (Ravens GM): “When I met with Ray to discuss the incident, I asked him one question: “Did you hit her?” He responded: “Yes”. Ray and I didn’t discuss details beyond that, because in my mind if he hit her, no matter the circumstances or explanation, he needed to own the situation. I immediately focused on Ray taking responsibility and making amends. I later said Ray didn’t lie to me because he told me he hit her, and that is what the video later showed—although the video was much more violent than what I had pictured.”

4. From the article: …the images (on the first videotape) horrified Ravens coach John Harbaugh, according to four sources inside and outside the organization. The Super Bowl-winning coach urged his bosses to release Rice immediately, especially if the team had evidence Rice had thrown a punch…

But Harbaugh’s recommendation to cut the six-year veteran running back was quickly rejected by Ravens management: owner Bisciotti, team president Cass and GM Newsome.

John Harbaugh (Ravens coach): “I did not recommend cutting Ray Rice from the team after seeing the first videotape. I was very disturbed by that tape, and I told people that the facts should determine the consequences. When I saw the second videotape, I immediately felt that we needed to release Ray.”

Ozzie Newsome: “Neither John nor anyone else ever recommended cutting Ray Rice before we saw the second videotape on September 8.”

5. From the article: “He motioned it to me,” (Kyle) Jakobe (trainer and friend of Ray Rice) said, making a closed fist and bringing it across his body. “He was like ‘Hey, this is what happened.'”

John Harbaugh: “Ray Rice never told me that he punched her. In June, when I spoke to ESPN The Magazine, it was still my understanding that Ray had not punched her and was acting defensively.”

Darren Sanders: “Ray told me he slapped her. He denied punching her.”

6. From the article: “Ravens executives — in particular owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome — began extensive public and private campaigns pushing for leniency for Rice on several fronts: from the judicial system in Atlantic County, where Rice faced assault charges, to commissioner Goodell, who ultimately would decide the number of games Rice would be suspended…”

Dick Cass: “That statement is not true. In February, Darren Sanders made contact with the police and the prosecutor in an effort to obtain a copy of the video. Apart from Darren’s efforts, no one from the Ravens ever spoke or communicated with a prosecutor, a judge or anyone else employed by the judicial system in New Jersey regarding Ray Rice, with one exception. At the request of Ray’s defense lawyer, Ozzie, John and I sent a letter addressed to the Clerk’s office in support of Ray’s application for pretrial intervention. The letter was largely devoted to describing Ray’s extensive efforts in the community. According to the article, our letter was one of 30 such letters.”

7. From the article: Michael J. Diamondstein, (Rice’s attorney), who in early April had obtained a copy of the inside-elevator video and told Cass: “It’s f—ing horrible.” Cass did not request a copy of the video from Diamondstein but instead began urging Rice’s legal team to get Rice accepted into a pretrial intervention program after being told some of the program’s benefits. Among them: It would keep the inside-elevator video from becoming public.

Later in the article: Diamondstein began a series of conversations with Cass, a lawyer as well as the Ravens team president, about strategy on how to resolve Rice’s criminal case as quickly, and as quietly, as possible, team sources and other sources say.

Dick Cass: “I believe Ray’s criminal defense attorney mentioned the video to me in late May around the time that the court granted Ray’s application for pretrial intervention. I don’t recall his precise words, but he did say the video looked terrible. I did not ask Ray’s attorney for a copy of the video. I assumed the video would be terrible, because it would show a man striking a woman. But I also thought the video would show a physical altercation where Ray was defending himself with an open hand. My view about the video was also influenced by the fact that the prosecutor and the judge agreed to the ultimate dismissal of all charges against Ray after seeing the video. We had decided several months before to leave fact finding to the court system and the League. As we have said, that was a mistake, and I regret it.”

“I did not urge Ray’s defense attorney to follow any particular course of action. I told his attorney that he should do what he felt was in the best interest of his client. I had never even heard of ‘pretrial intervention’ until Ray’s attorney explained it to me. So yes, I agreed with him that pretrial intervention was in Ray’s best interest. Who wouldn’t? It meant the ultimate dismissal of all criminal claims without a trial and the risk of a guilty verdict. Of course, I did not want a criminal trial because of all the adverse publicity associated with a celebrity trial. But I did not think that pretrial intervention would prevent the video from becoming public. I assumed that would eventually occur in any event.”

8. From the article: Goodell gave Rice — the corporate face of the Baltimore franchise — a light punishment as a favor to his good friend Bisciotti. Four sources said Ravens executives, including Bisciotti, Cass and Newsome, urged Goodell and other league executives to give Rice no more than a two-game suspension, and that’s what Goodell did on July 24.

Steve Bisciotti: “I did not ask Roger Goodell to give Ray Rice no more than a two-game suspension. I did not make any request for a ‘favor’ or any particular outcome. I know and like Roger Goodell, but it is inaccurate to call us ‘good friends.’ The two of us have spent very little time together – as I recall, one round of golf and one dinner several years ago.”

Dick Cass: “I did not urge Roger Goodell or any other League official to take any particular action.”

Ozzie Newsome: “I never asked Mr. Goodell or anyone else at the NFL to do anything for Ray or for the Ravens.”

9. From the article: An avid golfer with a 10 handicap, Bisciotti played 27 holes on March 18 and another 27 holes on March 19 at Augusta National Golf Club, where he is not a member. Goodell, who is also an avid golfer, became an Augusta member in 2013. Goodell and Bisciotti have become good friends, and talk of golf is a lubricant of their friendship, several sources say.”

Steve Bisciotti: “I did not see or talk to Roger Goodell the entire time I was in Augusta.”

10. From the article: The Ray Rice case had become more serious. He now faced a potential prison sentence of three to five years. And yet, according to public statements made by Bisciotti and other team officials, the team decided at that point to stop seeking to obtain or even view a copy of the inside-elevator video.

Dick Cass: “We decided that we would await the outcome of the criminal case and the NFL disciplinary hearing and to leave the fact-finding to others. We should not have done that.”

11. From the article: Goodell presided over Rice’s disciplinary meeting. Ray and Janay Rice were accompanied by Newsome and Cass as well as by two NFLPA representatives. Goodell was joined by Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s senior vice president of labor policy, and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash. Several former executives and lawyers who represent players and coaches before the league said a player or coach facing discipline is rarely accompanied by the team GM and the team president in a hearing before Goodell and league officials. A league source insists it has happened numerous times before, but he did not provide examples.

Dick Cass: “We did accompany Ray and have accompanied other players in the past. We believe that our actions are not uncommon around the league. The article notes, for example, that one of the owners of the Steelers accompanied Ben Roethlisberger when he met with the Commissioner.”

12. From the article: “One source who spoke to Cass said he heard at least two weeks before Goodell announced the penalty that Rice would receive only a two-game penalty.”

Dick Cass: “That is not true. Neither I nor anyone at the Ravens knew what the penalty would be until the Commissioner sent his letter to Ray on July 23. I did believe that a two-game suspension was one of the likely outcomes, because as far as I knew that was the maximum penalty that had been imposed in a case similar to Ray’s.”

13. From the article: When the second TMZ video was released early the next morning…That afternoon, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract….An hour after the Ravens released Rice, the NFL announced that Rice was suspended indefinitely.

Steve Bisciotti: “Yes, after seeing the second videotape, we took the pre-emptive step, ahead of the league, to do what we thought we had to do.”

Ozzie Newsome: “I had to tell Ray, and it was one of the hardest phone calls I have ever made.”

14. From the article: (After the Ravens released a letter to their season ticket-holders and sponsors explaining the steps they had taken…) Minutes later, Rice’s phone buzzed. He could scarcely believe what he was looking at– back-to-back text messages from Bisciotti. Rice read them aloud so everyone in the room could hear them:

Hey Ray, just want to let you know, we loved you as a player, it was great having you here. Hopefully all these things are going to die down. I wish the best for you and Janay.

When you’re done with football, I’d like you to know you have a job waiting for you with the Ravens helping young guys getting acclimated to the league.

Steve Bisciotti: “I did have an exchange of text messages with Ray, which he initiated. I felt awful about what had happened. I believed he was, at heart, a good person, that he was capable of redemption, and I wanted to tell him I would be supportive of him. Here are the texts, not as told to someone and then misquoted in the article, but verbatim”:

Monday September 8, 7:44 pm

Ray: I understand the decision but I am thankful for what you have done for me and my family. Me and my wife will continue to work on us and being better but I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a chance

Steve: I’m sorry we had to do this. I still love you and believe that you will be a great husband and father If you ever need to talk just call

Tuesday September 9, 10:27 pm

Steve: I just spent two hours talking to Ozzie. It was all about you. We love you and we will always figure out a way to keep you in our lives. When you are done with football I will hire you to help me raise Great young men. I still love you!!!

Ray: I know it’s a rough time for all of us I love all of you and that will never change for life!

Steve: I will help you make it a great life indeed. I give you my WORD

Ray: That means the world to me and my family we greatly appreciate you and thank you.

15. From the article: A few days later, after thinking about it more, Rice told friends he believed Bisciotti was suggesting that, as long as he kept quiet and stuck to the story that he had misled team officials and Goodell about what had happened in the elevator, the Ravens would take care of him down the road. He felt incredibly insulted.

Steve Bisciotti: “I cannot believe that Ray ever thought I was suggesting he keep quiet, when he got the texts or later on. They were not an insult. To the contrary, I think he knew these were messages from the heart, as were his responses to me. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Everyone knows that, including Ray.”

As always, we endeavor to keep you, the public and the fans, fully informed, and we promise to continue to do so. We may all wish this incident to be put behind us, to concentrate on how we can learn from it and apply the lessons to a more aware and sensitive society, but as it continues to warrant attention, we will address it with the utmost candor and openness. We hope to live up to the support you have given us.

82 responses to “Statement from Ravens regarding ESPN report

  1. I find it odd that everyone directly involved with this has to constantly & vigorously defend themselves, while apologizing about making mistakes.

    Either you did it right or didn’t but we should believe you now & you will make it better ? That’s pandering at its finest, no sale.

  2. Jesus, why is this so long? I only read the first two paragraphs and had to tap out. Scrolled down to see there was sooooooo much more to read.. I will wait for the comments from everyone pointing out the highlights.

  3. dequan81 says:
    Sep 22, 2014 3:55 PM
    Jesus, why is this so long? I only read the first two paragraphs and had to tap out. Scrolled down to see there was sooooooo much more to read.. I will wait for the comments from everyone pointing out the highlights.

    _________________________________________

    So terrible to be asked to actually have to persevere and read something that is more than the length of a tweet. I can’t imagine how you make it through life with such high expectations hanging over your head.

  4. ESPN didn’t “lie”. The Raven management, security team, player and owner lied.

    What a disastrous organization. If Adam Silver were the NFL Commissioner, Bisciotti would be forced sell and the entire management team, including coaching staff, would be fired.

    Of course, Roger Goodell is the NFL Commissioner so he probably sent them all roses and a case of Scotch.

  5. Much like the Ravens, I always get whiplash when ESPN stops its 24-hr “infotainment” and tries to do actual reporting.

  6. Well, I suppose full fledged denial is better than silence.

    I’m going to cast my lot with Van Natta, who might sometimes lay it on thick – the NY Times public editor said as much over a story on the British hacking scandal – but his track record is a lot better than that of any NFL owner.

  7. Look, all of this was always going to be a “he said/he said” but the one point that I think they will regret is Cass admitting that he never asked to see the tape when he was talking to Ray’s lawyer. That’s just willful ignorance from a man who did not rise to the position he has now by being ignorant.

  8. Mick LeGrande says: Sep 22, 2014 4:02 PM

    ESPN didn’t “lie”. The Raven management, security team, player and owner lied.
    ______

    Prove it.

  9. Lets see if PFT takes ESPN to task now for its mistakes in reporting. Oh, wait, no they can’t do that or they might have to admit to biased reporting themselves.

  10. Hmmmm….

    Newsome knew Rice had hit his wife, yet all others in the front office referred to it as a slap…

    Something not right in Denmark…

  11. The absolute most sketchy thing about this release is that it was distributed 10 minutes before the press conference, not allowing anyone to digest it prior to an open question portion of the conference.

  12. You happy PFT? They replied line by line with direct quotes from the people involved, not from sources. I am sure you will find a few to which they did not respond appropriately in your opinion. And I am sure many will say they are lying. But they did EXACTLY what you have been demanding for days. That they say exactly what was not true about that report.

  13. ESPN, and the rest of the haters in the world, just got DOMINATED. Consider your unrighteous hate debunked.

    How’s it feel folks? You just want to hate the Ravens – I get it, we win a lot of games – and despite trying your hardest, the facts don’t support it.

  14. “As always, we endeavor to keep you, the public and the fans, fully informed”

    *******

    with as many lies as required to avoid taking responsibility….now, about the bridge we’ve got for sale in Brooklyn…….

  15. Harbaugh made a statement that Rice was a great guy, gave him an “atta boy” and everyone, from top to bottom of that garbage franchise supported rice, fans gave him a standing ovation, they still support him to this day. That second video, horrific and sickening doesn’t even describe it. I watched him punch her right in the face, watched her go down to the floor…what kind of animal does this? Raven fans still bash about spygate a decade later taping from the wrong place on the field, yet they want this to “go away.” The entire world is talking about it, and this is where it all started, and it’s not going away! There should be fines, draft picks taken away, and Gruesome and Harbaugh fired immediately.

  16. ESPN, another mistake. another case of trying to be “journalists” and failing hard. please let me hear again about michael sam’s shower habits.

    just give me some booyahs and stay in your lane.

  17. ravensgrl says: Sep 22, 2014 4:07 PM

    Mick LeGrande says: Sep 22, 2014 4:02 PM

    ESPN didn’t “lie”. The Raven management, security team, player and owner lied.
    ______

    In this response, the Ravens included names of those involved, and there reactions, responses, and interactions with Rice and his legal team.
    In the ESPN article, there were multiple unnamed sources, leading me to believe that most of this information was provided by Ray Rice’s friends and families who are trying to enhance his recent “victim” persona so that he will be given a second chance by any team in this league.

  18. Dequan81,

    Leaving scottyhammer’s snarkiness aside, your answer is exactly why they made it so long. The fewer people who read the whole Ravens release, the better for the team and the league.

  19. SO basically Biscotti promised Ray that if he took the fall, once the hub-bub died down the Ravens organization would hire him back in some capacity.
    Sounds like typical good-ole-boy underhandedness at it’s finest.

  20. Ravens fans, if this behavior was exhibited by a Steelers’ player and organization, you’d believe every word of it.

    But since it’s the Ravens…

  21. ESPN is classic for it’s “sources close to the organization” method of delivering a story… which it probably is.. “a story”.

    That being said– The people involved with all of this deserve as much criticism as possible for not getting it right— Not seeing the video should be an embarassment to everyone that was involved with determining a consequence.

  22. This is how you write a story by putting a name on it. Thanks Ravens for shutting the idiotic Media up. The NFL and the Ravens both admitted to making a mistake because they didn’t watch the video, but the media is trying to pin it on some witch hunt.

    Can we now focus on football.

  23. It took 5 days to get all the stories straight, and make sure that they had tied up all the loose ends so that there are no obvious flaws in the story.

    However, in a big mess like this, it’s likely that if they are not telling the truth, the wall of stories will show holes in a few weeks or less. If this is the truth, it’ll hold up.

    So by week 6 or so, either this is all getting behind us and we can finally focus on football, or, Harbaugh, Cass, and Goodell are on the street and Bisciotti is selling the team.

    IMHO, it’s an even money bet.

  24. That’s it. I’m calling every animal rights group out there. I will no longer stand idly by and watch dead horses be beaten in this manner. Someone has to do something.

  25. I find it consistently odd that everyone involved has to now answer the moral highground of ESPN….you know….the entity that currently employes a person who was once charged with murder and was convicted of obstruction of justice.

  26. So an employee gets arrested, lies to you about what happened, and when you find out he lied you say “We love you and we will always figure out a way to keep you in our lives. When you are done with football I will hire you to help me raise Great young men. I still love you!!!”

    Even Hollywood would pass on that script as unbelievable.

  27. Oh look, Bisciotti now basically saying that he would have been cool with an 8 game suspension for Rice and he would have welcomed him back if the tape came out earlier…

    “The source said Bisciotti first saw the video on his television and decided almost immediately that be believed the running back had to be released. He called a meeting to confer with other members of the organizational hierarchy.”

    This dude is a clown…

  28. The entire Ravens organization reminds me of what is eliminated from the rear sphincter of the horse and is caught in that bag attached on those carriage rides.

  29. Spin, lies, re-framing. The way of cowards trying to protect money. Old as the sun. These are not men, but spineless cowards. Cowards punch women and knock them out cold. Other cowards hide the truth and tap dance like minstrel clowns until the noise has overridden the lies. This is what these men are. Same as it was at Penn State. Guys, it is not hard. The truth is never easy to face, but real men of integrity stand up and do what is right. Period. No one needs to argue about that. These are cowards, liars.

  30. Love and Warrick Dunn says:

    “Nobody circles the wagons like the…….Baltimore Ravens.”

    ————————————–

    Ever heard of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

  31. From wikipedia — From 1972 until 2003, Cass was employed with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, and later became a partner of the D.C.-based law firm

    ….and he has never heard of a pre-trial intervention? Did his nose grow when he said that?

  32. I read every line of that statement…..and now I think the people who posted comments that they didn’t bother reading it probably just spent the last 10 minutes doing better things than I did.

  33. ESPN lies quit often with all there has been reporters.its over now no more.time to start picking on Peterson.just image what went on before all this social media crap.you can’t do anything anymore without being filmed.As for rthe REDSKINS ship them to Canada..

  34. ” no one from the Ravens ever spoke or communicated with a prosecutor, a judge or anyone else employed by the judicial system in New Jersey regarding Ray Rice, with one exception. At the request of Ray’s defense lawyer, Ozzie, John and I sent a letter addressed to the Clerk’s office in support of Ray’s application for pretrial intervention.”

    So you didn’t ask the prosecutor or judge IN PERSON, you just sent a letter to their office asking for a lenient sentence.

  35. well they pretty much just slammed ESPN in the face didn’t they. pretty convincing rebuttal. took every item to task and their responses made a whole lot of sense. especially like them releasing the actual text messages.

    I consider this issue closed. no need for any further discussion from the Ravens. time to move on.

  36. From wikipedia — From 1972 until 2003, Cass was employed with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, and later became a partner of the D.C.-based law firm

    ….and he has never heard of a pre-trial intervention? Did his nose grow when he said that?

    ——————-

    apparently you don’t know their are many different fields/specialties that attorneys go into?? he was a criminal attorney bozo

  37. Mick LeGrande says:
    Sep 22, 2014 4:15 PM
    Ravens fans, if this behavior was exhibited by a Steelers’ player and organization, you’d believe every word of it.

    But since it’s the Ravens…

    9 3
    Report comment

    —-

    Yes, and if there was video of Big Ben in the bathroom I’m sure that story would have played out EXACTLY the same way.

  38. Great job addressing the espn novel. We fans understand you didn’t investigate the severity of Rices crime and you regret it. We have moved on and fully support this organization who otherwise has a pretty sterling reputation. At this point I suggest you not bother addressing future yellow journalistic pieces. It only encourages more guesswork and unfounded speculation. I look forward to cheering you on versus the panthers this weekend.

  39. Don Van Natta Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.

    I understand why people dismiss/distrust ESPN as a whole.

    But Van Natta Jr. is a credible journalist looking for facts. The Ravens are an organization trying to make a scandal disappear.

    Believe who you want. But don’t just make kneejerk judgments based on other less-reputable journalists at ESPN.

    Van Natta Jr. is credible.

  40. “….and he has never heard of a pre-trial intervention? Did his nose grow when he said that?”

    Just because he was an attorney doesn’t mean he was a criminal attorney. You could expect a criminal atty to know that, not a business attorney. Most GM’s are contract law specialists. Duh.

  41. apparently you don’t know their are many different fields/specialties that attorneys go into?? he was a criminal attorney bozo

    —–

    LOL! Riiight…. even real estate lawyers and people that have no knowledge of the US legal system have heard of pre-trial interventions. The clown nose is on Cass… and it is LARGE.

  42. Hey Ravens fans…Do you see how ESPN has a way of taking what is a relatively minor story and snow balling it into the biggest scandal the world has ever seen?

    Signed, Patriots fan. 😉

  43. Hey ESPN, if you want us to believe your stories in the future please have your writers name their sources. I learned studying at the Missouri School of Journalism to use anonymous sources only with extreme caution (and never solely for the purpose of expressing an opinion about someone else).

    The big question as a journalist you have to ask is:

    * What motive might the source have for misleading you, hiding certain information or otherwise “spinning” the story to his or her advantage?

  44. “Hmmmm….

    Newsome knew Rice had hit his wife, yet all others in the front office referred to it as a slap…

    Something not right in Denmark…”

    Not really. The definition or the word “hit” describes both a punch and/or a slap.

  45. So do they have evidence to back up their claims here or is this just another case of he said she said?

    Given the story comes from ESPN I am skeptical to believe it is true while I am also skeptical to believe what the Ravens front office says given they have a reason to say the report is wrong.

    In end I suppose it really doesn’t matter and unless there is evidence to back up either side there is no point to going on about it.

  46. “Of course, I did not want a criminal trial because of all the adverse publicity associated with a celebrity trial.”

    So how’s that avoiding adverse publicity thing working out for you?

    At least Dick CAss admits he cared more about bad publicity than he did about a woman being abused.

  47. I think the NFL just started taking bids for the Monday Night Football package. I bet It changes networks the next time around. It’s called screwing your partner….ESPN is intimately familiar.

  48. In the end people are going to believe whatever they want to believe and I wouldn’t blame anyone for having as much distaste for the 4 letter network as they do for the NFL leadership right now…… BUT! Outside the lines does good work and I just can’t understand how anyone could take the Ravens statement seriously.

    I have no horse in this race but just can’t understand how anyone could come to any other conclusion than the Ravens are just lying about lying about trying to cover up the Rice incident.

  49. The Ravens still aren’t telling the truth.

    It doesn’t matter if they hold 5 more press conferences.

    They aren’t going to come out and admit they lied to all of us, that they covered things up.

    They lied. We know it.

    Roger lied to.

    They will continue denying until enough times passes and we collectively move on to other things.

  50. The best part is when Biscotti shows verbatim his texts with Ray. Not the version reported in the article.

    E – Exaggerated
    S – Spin
    P – Pretend
    N – News

  51. It isn’t unusual that Ravens execs would accompany Rice to his meeting with Goodell. Art Rooney did accompany Roethlisberger to his meeting with the commissioner.

    Since Rice was paying his attorney, I doubt the Ravens helped steer the course of his defense. And it’s not a defense attorney’s responsibility to provide video evidence to his client’s employers. It’s his responsibility to take care of his client.

    Like other teams, the Ravens have struggled with how to react to these situations. But I don’t think they’ve been engaged in some big coverup.

  52. What happened was ESPN felt stupid and a little jealous maybe that TMZ broke this story open..they went digging to come up with some more info and with not much there they exaggerated the stories a little..they prolly rushed the story a little too so they could drop the news when they did.

  53. Why should anyone believe what the Ravens claim happened? Use your brains people, ESPN doesn’t have some grudge against the Ravens. People refuse to accept the truth and blame the media because its easier than admitting that their owner is a liar.

  54. Why would the Ravens lie at this point? It makes no sense. They didn’t break any laws. We messed up. Sorry. Here’s a free jersey. The text messages make it clear that Ray had it wrong. Or did he? There was so many anonymous sources and speculation in the article that we aren’t sure who actually said anything. Sorry but rich people don’t get rich by being dumb and if bisciotti was lying – he would have just ignored this article and moved on. Again, they don’t have to answer to a court of law. But ESPN went too far and they now feel the wrath.

  55. There are a lot of guilty parties here; media, league, players, teams, lawyers (prosecution and defense), etc…. and a lot of those who can’t get beyond finger pointing.

    I think it’s great to see the players, teams, league, media, etc. sweating, dancing, and doing whatever they can to deflect guilt…. if the end result is seeing the players, teams, league, players association, law enforcement, etc have to start taking this serious and applying hits rather than the wrist slaps (or less) that we’ve been seeing for years. Ditto for the Jameis Winston’s, schools and NCAA,…

  56. How can anyone take a report like this, no less from ESPN, and not question it? It is filled with quotes from people with axes to grind. Moreover, Van Natta said he interviewed over 20 people for the story. He never said he used quotes from over 20 people, just that he interviewed them. It’s obvious where most of the quotes came from.

    For me, I will always question an ESPN investigative story. They believe they are sports, and we should all just listen. This is NOT the first story they were put to task on. And for people telling me Van Natta has won awards, who gives a flip. So because he has won something, I am supposed to believe everything he puts on paper. SMH.

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