There's been a lot of back-and-forth—conducted via reporters' unnamed sources—over who knew what happened in that casino elevator and when. Now the Ravens braintrust has put that question to bed, acknowledging that Rice was up front with them all along.
The Baltimore Sun sat down with owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass, and GM Ozzie Newsome, and talk turned to the contents of the tape that was made public on Monday.
Did the video match the story Ray Rice told you?
Ozzie Newsome: "You know. Ray had given a story to John [Harbaugh] and I. And what we saw on the video was what Ray said. Ray didn't lie to me. He didn't lie to me."
As for why the Ravens only cut Rice after the release of the video, both Bisciotti and Cass offered up variations on seeing it is so much worse than hearing it described.
But this is especially interesting because in comments to two different outlets yesterday, Roger Goodell claimed that in his meeting with Rice, the player's version of events "was ambiguous" and "not consistent" with what the video showed, very heavily suggesting the league office was misled by Rice as to what actually happened until the video came out on Monday.
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If Ozzie Newsome is telling the truth, then the NFL never simply asked the Ravens what Rice had told them about the incident.
Not that the Ravens did their due diligence either, according to a report from ABC News.
[T]wo sources briefed on the incident and behind-the-scenes discussions regarding the tape told ABC News that the Ravens knew that the tape existed and knew what was on the tape almost immediately after the incident.
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.