Despite the NFL’s protestations to the contrary, a law enforcement official said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was indeed sent the video of Rice punching out his then-fiance, Janay Palmer, five months ago in a New Jersey casino elevator.
The police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, also played a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived, according to the Associated Press.
The publication said the law enforcement officials played the voicemail tape of a female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
The official told the AP that the NFL never bothered to follow up on the tape. We all know what happened next: Ray Rice and his wife were able to persuade Goodell that there was violence from both parties and he gave Rice a two-game suspension, a decision that has been excoriated by females and women’s groups nationwide.
The person who secretly told the AP that law enforcement gave the tape to the NFL cannot, however, verify if anyone at the NFL watched the video. He said he wanted to ensure the NFL had the video so that they could factor the video into their decision on a level of punishment for Rice.
Obviously that did not work.
It’s been a tumultuous, and quite possibly catastrophic, week for Goodell. A group of congressmen fired off a rather accusing letter to Goodell demanding “the highest level of transparency” in how the league investigated the Rice situation. Translation? The congressmen, much like the media and the public, are not buying the story Goodell has proffered saying they could not get their hands on the video of the Rice beat down.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for Goodell, the National Organization for Women called for Goodell’s resignation. There is also hashtag #FireGoodell which is now trending on Twitter.
However, several NFL team owners released statements, including New York Giants owner John Mara, who reassured Goodell of his job security.