Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have denied reports they previously had access to the video of Ray Rice punching then-fiancee and now wife Janay Palmer, which was released Monday and resulted in the Baltimore Ravens' release of the veteran running back. However, The Associated Press is now reporting that a tape of the elevator incident was sent to the NFL in April.
The news was first broken via Twitter:
Rob Maaddi of the AP provides more details about the timeline:
A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive three months ago, while league officers have insisted they didn't see the violent images until this week.
The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: "You're right. It's terrible."
NFL Network's Albert Breer announced another huge development surrounding the Rice situation:
According to ABC News' Josh Margolin, Darren Rovell and Aaron Katersky, the Ravens were also aware of the video:
The Baltimore Ravens knew shortly after Ray Rice knocked out his wife in a hotel elevator that a surveillance video of the assault existed and that Rice's lawyer had a copy of the video, but never asked to see it, sources told ABC News today.
The seriousness of Rice's confrontation with his then-fiancee, who is now his wife and who goes by Janay Rice, was first indicated when a surveillance video surfaced on Feb. 19 showing Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. When that video surfaced, Rice's lawyer asked the hotel for the full tape, and the Revel handed it over, sources told ABC News.
The Ravens team also asked the hotel for the full video, but were told by the Revel they couldn't give it out to anyone except someone who was a party to what's on the tape or to law enforcement, the sources said. But Revel officials told the team that Rice's attorney had a copy and the Ravens should ask the lawyer for the tape, the sources told ABC News.
The Ravens did not ask Rice or his lawyer for a copy of the video. Instead, the Ravens and the NFL asked law enforcement for the video which declined to give it up.
John Barr and Greg Amante of ESPN.com reported on more details from the February incident after speaking with one current and one former security staffer at the Revel hotel:
The security staffers said they did not see any sign of injury on Palmer's face or head but added that her hair was covering much of her face, making it hard to determine her condition. They also said they didn't see any blood in the elevator or on the hip-level railing that Palmer's head appeared to strike as she fell to the elevator floor.
"The first thing he [Rice] said is, 'She's intoxicated. She drank too much. I'm just trying to get her to the room,'" one staffer said.
"When she regained consciousness she said, 'How could you do this to me? I'm the mother of your kid,'" that same staffer told "Outside the Lines."
With his fiancée still groggy, Rice dialed somebody on his cellphone and said, "I'm getting arrested tonight," the staffer said. Police arrived in 10 to 15 minutes.
Many wondered how TMZ could track down a video the NFL was unable to get its hands on that had such important evidence.
On Wednesday, Goodell remained adamant in his denial, though, per SportsCenter's Twitter feed:
Fox Sports' Pete Schrager reports news on Goodell:
CBS' Norah O'Donnell had more on the NFL's stance:
Mark Maske of The Washington Post had more from Goodell:
Jaguars guard Zane Beadles commented on the new allegations:
The National Organization for Women called for Goodell's resignation earlier Wednesday, and you can expect that talk to continue to heat up if reports of this cover-up are true.
Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported a potentially grim future for those involved in the controversy.
USA Today's Tom Pelissero passed along a statement from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in response to the AP report:
Either way, an already terrible situation is spiraling into an even darker moment for the NFL. Major repercussions could be coming for Goodell, the Ravens and anyone else involved.
Nevertheless, this is a story that has featured new twists and turns seemingly every few hours, so don't expect this to be the last of it.