There is a great explanation as to why National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell never saw the shocking video of Ray Rice knocking his then-fiance out inside a New Jersey casino elevator:
He never asked for it.
According to entertainment blog TMZ, The NFL never even bothered to contact the casino to request video showing the interior elevator portion of the damning video. Goodell reportedly made his disciplinary decision without all of the evidence — by his own choice.
Employees of the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City said no one from the NFL ever asked for the video inside the elevator because they would have eagerly handed it over.
As we now know, the video was so inflammatory it prompted the brain trust of the Baltimore Ravens to immediate terminate Rice’s $50 million contract and motivated the commish to suspend the embattled running back indefinitely, putting his NFL future in great peril. It is impossible at this point to tell if any team will take a chance on him in the future because Rice has been rendered something close to the level of toxic waste.
Here’s the killer part of the story about the incendiary video: if the NFL had asked for the video, they would have gladly complied, employees say.
Media pundits have been stumped trying to figure out how the $9 billion industry that is the NFL, who are armed with former FBI agents and Secret Service personnel among their investigative body, could not procure the video that TMZ released like a nuclear blast into cyberspace on Monday, Sept. 8.
Without the video to guide his decision making, Goodell allegedly allowed Rice and his wife, Jonay Palmer, to manipulate his office into believing their version of the events before the NFL handed out a very kind two-game suspension that drew the ire of women’s groups nationwide. The cacophony of outrage was so deafeningly loud that it prompted Goodell to produce an apology and then institute a much harsher penalty for future blindly justified the initial 2-game suspension, based on the only evidence they had — from the 2 people in the elevator, who called it mutual combat.
Multiple sources tell TMZ Sports … the casino made a copy of the elevator surveillance video for police. We’re also told Rice’s lawyer had a copy of the video which he got in the criminal case.
As the blowback from the controversy grew more intense as the day went on, the NFL released a statement claiming they requested “any and all information” from law enforcement in the criminal case but got nothing because it was a pending case. But the employees of the hotel counter that the NFL had another option: just ask the casino or Rice’s lawyer, but the NFL never bothered to ask.
The NFL could have figuratively put Rice’s head in a vice and squeezed until he and his lawyers relinquished the video evidence, using severe punishment as the bait, but again, the NFL did not ask.
This does not sound like the scandal is going away anytime soon.