On Friday, former U.S. Judge Barbara Jones said that Ray Rice didn’t provide a “starkly different” account to the NFL in June from the images of the elevator video that was released on September 8.
Before the NFL told Rice that his indefinite suspension resulted from an alleged “starkly different” account, Commission Roger Goodell said only that the information from Rice had been “ambiguous,” an explanation that is starkly different from “starkly different.”
“[W]hen we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened,” Goodell told Norah O’Donnell of CBS Evening News.
“But what was ambiguous about her laying unconscious on the floor being dragged out by her feet?” O’Donnell replied.
“There was nothing ambiguous about that,” Goodell said. “That was the result that we saw. We did not know what led up to that. We did not know the details of that. We asked for that on several occasions.”
But, as Judge Jones found, the NFL never asked Rice for the video, even though Rice had direct access to the video. And Janay Rice now tells NBC’s TODAY that Ray gave the league the information that it wanted.
“Was Ray ambiguous?” Matt Lauer asked Janay Rice in an interview that aired on Monday.
“No,” she said. “Not in any way. And, you know, I feel like if they wanted to know more details then they would have asked. But there were no further questions. It — it’s been consistent with everything that he’s been saying since February.”
“So when the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, says Ray was ambiguous and the NFL says that it was a starkly different sequence of events, is the Commissioner lying?” Lauer said.
“I can’t say he’s telling the truth,” Janay Rice said. “I know for a fact that he told — that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February.”
The truth was, and remains, that Ray and Janay entered an elevator and by the time the door opened again Janay was knocked out. The league opted to suspend Ray only two games without seeing what it looked like, even though the NFL knew what happened. She was knocked out. And it’s not pretty when someone gets knocked out.
That’s why the lingering question of whether the NFL had the video before it was released doesn’t matter. The NFL didn’t need the video. If former FBI director Robert Mueller realizes that while drafting his report, couldn’t the impact be the same as a finding by Mueller that the league had actually seen the video?