In a bombshell that casts even further doubt on Roger Goodell’s claims that the no one in the NFL office saw the Ray Rice elevator video before TMZ published it, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that a law enforcement official sent a copy of the tape to the league in April.
BREAKING: AP Source: Law enforcement official sent copy of Ray Rice tape to NFL executive in April
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 10, 2014
The official sent the league the tape despite not being authorized to do so so that league officials could view it before deciding on Rice’s punishment, the AP reported. The AP said a woman in the NFL office called the law enforcement source back, confirmed receiving the tape and said “you’re right. It’s terrible.”
From the AP:
The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. The person said they were unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because they wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.
The league initially suspended Rice for a mere two games, but reversed course Monday and suspended him indefinitely after the Baltimore Ravens cut the disgraced running back following TMZ’s release of the video.
Goodell said in a statement Monday night that Rice was being suspended in light of “new video evidence.” He then told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell in an interview Tuesday night that to the best of his knowledge, no one in the league had seen the video despite multiple attempts to attain it from law enforcement sources. (Watch the video at the top of this post.)
The NFL said in a statement in response to the report that it had no knowledge of the video having been sent to the league office.