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Ray Rice Investigation: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2014

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Updates from Friday, Oct. 24 

According to The Associated Press, the NFLPA claims the NFL has been uncooperative, (via ESPN):

The attorney leading the NFL players' union investigation into the Ray Rice domestic violence case told The Associated Press the league and the Baltimore Ravens have not been cooperating.

Richard Craig Smith told the AP on Friday night that the NFL has not provided documents and witnesses requested by the NFL Players Association's investigators, while the Ravens have refused any cooperation with similar requests.

"I am interested in the facts, and if we get cooperation from all the parties that were involved, we will have an understanding of what happened," Smith said. "We cannot accept public statements that call for transparency, candor and openness, and then not allow the investigators to do their jobs.

Updates from Thursday, Oct. 23

In addition to Roger Goodell, another key party in the Ray Rice investigation will testify in the grievance hearing according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Janay Rice expected to testify in Ray Rice grievance hearing, give her account of meeting with Goodell: http://t.co/AZv76fbmL9

Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 22 

ESPN's Adam Schefter provides an update on Roger Goodell's involvement in the Ray Rice appeal:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Roger Goodell is being forced to testify at the Ray Rice hearing by judge's ruling, per source.

Updates from Thursday, Oct. 16 

AP NFL provides an update on Roger Goodell's potential involvement in the Ray Rice appeal:

AP NFL @AP_NFL

AP source: Arbiter to decide next week whether Goodell should testify in Rice appeal http://t.co/ErBmT5xhng (@AP_RobMaaddi)

Updates from Sunday, Oct. 12

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports on Roger Goodell's potential role in the Ray Rice investigation:

Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 8 

Mark Maske of The Washington Post provides an update on the Ray Rice investigation:

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

Giants co-owner John Mara says Robert Mueller does not expect to complete his investigation of NFL handling of Rice case for several months.

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Updates from Monday, Oct. 6

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports when fans could expect the Ray Rice investigation to be completed:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Robert Mueller's investigation of the handling of Ray Rice case is expected to be completed by end of this month, per a league source.

Updates from Sunday, Oct. 5

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Ray Rice's cooperation with the latest investigation:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Ray Rice will be meeting with and speaking to people in Robert Mueller investigation and NFLPA investigation at the same time, per source.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

In an effort to be efficient and provide equal access to dual investigations, Ray Rice extended opportunity to do all interviews at once.

Updates from Friday, Sept. 26

ESPN.com news services provided more on the allegation that the NFL received the Ray Rice elevator video tape:

The NFL on Friday said it had no evidence the Ray Rice elevator tape was ever sent to its offices or received by them, or that a call was made by a woman, from league lines, confirming delivery of the tape.

A league official e-mailed reporters, including ESPN's Adam Schefter, in response to an Associated Press story Thursday night about a law enforcement official saying he mailed a tape of the Rice incident to Jeffrey Miller, the NFL's senior vice president of security.

"Our office has found absolutely no evidence to support the claim of the anonymous 'law enforcement source' that he sent a video to the NFL office or that he received a telephone call to his 'disposable cell phone' from an unidentified female using an NFL line," the league said.

Updates from Thursday, Sept. 25

The Associated Press is reporting a shocking new detail in the Ray Rice video investigation that is bad news for the NFL:

The Associated Press @AP

BREAKING: Law enforcement official says he sent video to attention of NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller.

Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reported more details on the situation and also released comments from a law enforcement official:

The official told the AP two weeks ago that he sent the video to the NFL, but asked the AP not to report that he had addressed the package to Miller. He eliminated that restriction Thursday.

"Since the NFLPA and NFL have launched separate investigations into the league and the Ravens' handling of Ray Rice's case, I want to make a few things clear. No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video," the official said Thursday. "I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he's their head of security. I attached a note saying: 'Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It's terrible.' I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands."

Miller, in London preparing for the Raiders-Dolphins game Sunday, issued a statement to the AP Thursday night through an NFL spokesman.

"I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video, and I had not watched it until it was made public on September 8," he said.

 

Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 24

The NFLPA released a statement regarding the Ray Rice investigation on Wednesday:

The NFLPA has retained Richard Craig Smith, Head of Regulatory and Governmental  Investigation, United States of Norton Rose Fulbright to conduct our investigation surrounding the due process, discipline, facts and conduct of the NFL League Office and Baltimore Ravens resulting in the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice.  As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Smith brings tremendous experience and expertise. The NFLPA will request that the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens cooperate in the interest of transparency. This investigation will run parallel to Rice's appeal.

Updates from Sunday, Sept. 21

ESPN.com news services, via ESPN's Adam Schefter, relays one of the arguments Ray Rice plans to make during his suspension appeal:

One of the chief arguments that Ray Rice will make in the appeal of his indefinite suspension is that the NFL extended his punishment on the basis of an edited videotape, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Legal sources told Schefter that the TMZ tape of Rice hitting his then-fiancee was a cleaned-up, whittled down and condensed version of the events that took place in the Atlantic City casino elevator.

Rice's side is expected to argue that the NFL suspended the former Baltimore Ravens running back indefinitely off an edited videotape that was not the extended version.

Updates from Friday, Sept. 19

Outside the Lines brings new allegations to light in the Ray Rice investigation, per SportsCenter:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

THIS JUST IN: Ravens executives received details on Ray Rice hours after incident occurred. » http://t.co/O2MGC46EWO http://t.co/B74yiDO8Sp

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun had the Ravens' response:

Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec

Ravens will have a news conference next week to address the ESPN report. Their statement on the matter until then:

Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec

“The ... article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions, and perhaps misunderstandings. The Ravens will address all of

Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec

(cont'd" "these next week in Baltimore after our trip to Cleveland for Sunday’s game against the Browns.”

Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 16

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora has the latest on Rice's appeal:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

NFL and NFLPA set to announce new drug policy including hGH testing today. PA will also formally appeal Rice suspension. Busy day ahead

Brian McIntyre reported the full NFLPA statement:

Brian McIntyre @brian_mcintyre

NFLPA statement on Ray Rice's appeal of his suspension http://t.co/ftz1zTXgis

La Canfora reports when to expect Ray Rice's suspension appeal to be announced:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

NFLPA makes formal announcement that it has filed an appeal in the Ray Rice case

Updates from Monday, Sept. 15

Ray Rice's appeal has been delayed according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk:

ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk

Collateral issues delayed Ray Rice appeal to Tuesday, including crafting of request that Roger Goodell recuse himself from case, per source.

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports how the NFLPA will handle Rice's potential suspension appeal:

Updates from Sunday, Sept. 14

Pro Football Talk reported on Ray Rice's intention to appeal his suspension by the league:

ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk

Ray Rice to appeal indefinite suspension on Monday http://t.co/jMsZo5pvwP

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman relayed a report from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer discussing Rice's previous conversation with the NFL and the Ravens about his domestic violence incident:

mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL

Glazer reporting what I have for days: "Ray Rice lied to the NFL. He lied to the Ravens." Yep.

Mark Maske of The Washington Post previously provided the timeline for a potential appeal of Rice's suspension:

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

No decision yet by NFLPA on whether to appeal Ray Rice's indefinite suspension, according to union official. Deadline is Tuesday.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported earlier on Roger Goodell's future with the NFL: 

Numerous league sources who have had direct conversations with Goodell continue to say he never viewed the video of Rice striking his wife until it hit the Internet. Would that be proven to be untrue, or would Goodell be found to have actively cooperated in a cover-up by the investigation, ownership sources have said that would be cause for a termination vote. But, if anything, there is more concern among those at the top of NFL teams that Goodell himself might resign given the public backlash coming out against him.

Don't get me wrong: Goodell leaving his position is a remote possibility at best from what I gather. Additionally, he has told several confidants resigning not something he'd entertain. But when compared to the notion of him getting fired by the owners, which is a non-starter barring overwhelmingly damning evidence emerging, it's seen as the more possible of the two.

'If anything, they're more concerned with Roger saying, ‘(forget) this,' and leaving than they are with having to relieve him of his duties,' said one league source who has discussed the issue with multiple ownership groups.

Updates from Friday, Sept. 12

Jane McManus of ESPN.com has an update regarding Rice's increased suspension:

Jane McManus @janesports

NFL has informed Ray Rice that it increased suspension because video showed "starkly different" sequence of events than Rice's version.

Updates from Thursday, Sept. 11

Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com provides information regarding Ray Rice's meeting with Roger Goodell in June:

Ray Rice told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16 that he punched then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator, four sources have told "Outside the Lines," an assertion that contradicts Goodell's statement this week that "when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened." ...

... "Ray didn't lie to the commissioner," a source with knowledge of the meeting told "Outside the Lines." "He told the full truth to Goodell -- he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn't happen again."

"He told the truth," a second source said. "This is a public lynching of Ray."

CBS News and Pro Football Talk have the latest on the NFL's claim that the video had not been previously seen:

CBS News @CBSNews

NFL security procedures cast doubt on claims NFL never saw knockout video http://t.co/2iUruzBRh5

ESPN's Darren Rovell passes along Pepsi's statement on the matter:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

PepsiCo, which has a $100M a year deal w/the NFL, delivers strongly worded statement http://t.co/gA6xA9GaiW

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on the investigation into the league:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The independent investigation run by ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller into @NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice evidence has begun, I’m told.

John Mara and Art Rooney also issued a joint statement on the investigation (via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review):

Mark Kaboly @MarkKaboly

Joint statement from Rooney and Mara http://t.co/P7Wne6wUiw

Kevin Clark of the The Wall Street Journal reported on Goodell's thought process as it pertained to Rice's initial suspension:

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell didn't pursue the Ray Rice domestic-violence incident as vigorously as he might have out of respect for Rice's now-wife, Janay, according to one NFL owner.

In conversations about the Rice case over the summer, the owner said, Goodell privately told other owners that during his investigation, in a meeting with the Rices in June, Janay Rice said she had struck her then-fiancee and that she believed she was partly at fault for the incident. Goodell also said he left the meeting believing that Janay Rice had become unconscious because she had fallen during the scuffle.

After Goodell suspended Rice for two games in July, this person said, Goodell told several NFL owners that he felt it would have been insensitive to question Janay Rice's story because it would have come across as an indictment of her character. Two people familiar with the commissioner's thinking, including the owner, said they believe the thoroughness of the investigation, and Goodell's decision to suspend Rice for two games, both reflected Goodell's discomfort with challenging Janay Rice's story.

The NFL declined to comment. Ray and Janay Rice, through their attorney, declined to comment.

Earlier, ESPN's Jim Trotter provides the thoughts of one club official on the investigation:

Jim Trotter @JimTrotter_NFL

There are owners who don't support Goodell, but they believe a core group of owners has enough influence to pull votes to block his ouster.

Jim Trotter @JimTrotter_NFL

"There's no f---ing way I'd have those two" - high-ranking club official on Goodell supporters Mara & Rooney overseeing the investigation.

Peter King of MMQB.com provides a statement from an anonymous owner discussing the investigation:

Just before 11 p.m. Eastern Time, minutes after the league announced the Mueller appointment, one league owner told me, 'This is a good first step. But we need to be prepared for any outcome.'

Original Text

After serious questions were raised concerning the NFL's actions during the Ray Rice suspension and aftermath, commissioner Roger Goodell announced that an independent investigation has been launched into how the league handled the evidence, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

.@NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces ex-FBI director Robert Mueller III will conduct an independent investigation into Rice situation

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The focus of the independent investigation will be handling of the Rice evidence. John Mara & Art Rooney will oversee the investigation.

USA Today's Tom Pelissero highlighted the two key points from Goodell's announcement:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Key notes on Mueller investigation: 1) Results will be made public. 2) Goodell pledges full cooperation/access to files.

According to NFL.com's Jeff Darlington, the league hasn't set a deadline for the investigation to be completed:

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

No timetable was provided within the NFL's statement so there is no initial indication on how long independent investigation will take.

Darren Rovell of ESPN reports Mueller has a history of working with the NFL:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

Robert Mueller works for WilmerHale, which has represented the NFL in its Sunday Ticket deal w/DirecTV.

Rachel Nichols of CNN reveals the National Organization for Women's thoughts on the investigation:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

NOW (Natl Organization for Women) calls Mueller investigation "just window dressing."

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

More from NOW: "The NFL does not just have a Ray Rice problem, they have a violence against women problem."

ESPN's Andrew Brandt pointed out that the independent investigation of Richie Incognito was far from an expeditious process, so the Rice investigation could be drawn out as well:

Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt

Independent investigation into Incognito/Martin saga took four months. Grab a Snickers; this could take a while.

This all stems from issues concerning whether the league had a tape in its possession that showed Rice striking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, who's now his wife.

Goodell maintained during an interview on CBS Evening News (via NFL.com) that nobody from the league had viewed the tape prior to its release earlier in the week by TMZ (warning: link includes graphic violence):

No one in the NFL, to my knowledge, and I have asked that same question, and the answer to that is no. We were not granted that. We were told that was not something we would have access to. On multiple occasions, we asked for it. And on multiple occasions we were told no. I understand that there may be legal restrictions on them sharing that with us. And we've heard that from attorneys general and former attorneys general.

However, The Associated Press reported that a copy of the tape was in fact sent to the league office months ago:

The Associated Press @AP

BREAKING: AP Source: Law enforcement official sent copy of Ray Rice tape to NFL executive in April

Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel did note that the report didn't claim Goodell himself had seen the tape before issuing Rice a two-game suspension, but the news reflected badly on him and the league:

Dan Wetzel @DanWetzel

AP story doesn't say Goodell saw video, knew NFL got it or he was lying. Does prove incompetence and disorganization tho.

Both NFL.com's Judy Battista and Bleacher Report's Cian Fahey believe that an independent investigation will allow the truth to come to light:

Judy Battista @judybattista

Independent investigator into the handling of the Rice investigation was the logical next step -- really the only step -- for NFL to take.

Others, such as Megan Mawicke of CBS 2 in Chicago, questioned how independent the investigation can be if two current owners will oversee it:

Megan Mawicke @MeganMawicke

Don't get this.... Goodell is saying "it's an independent investigation" but NFL owners will oversee it... That's "independent?"

Football fans and writers everywhere will wait with bated breath for the results of the independent investigation to be revealed. The report could have massive consequences, with some already calling for Goodell's removal.

If the report shows that Goodell and the league engaged in a cover-up regarding the tape, then the demand for action by NFL owners will only grow.

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