TMZer: NFL Employees Saw The Ray Rice Video Before Monday

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The NFL has vigorously claimed that the league office did not see the surveillance footage of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée Janay Palmer before settling on a two-week suspension as just punishment for what was, then as now, an undisputed act of appalling violence. Charles Latibeaudiere of TMZ says that's bullshit.

Latibeaudiere was on Fox Sports 1 Monday talking about Rice, and his sources—former employees at the now-closed Revel Casino—claim that NFL employees went to the casino to watch the Rice video. Latibeaudiere would not go so far to say that commissioner Roger Goodell personally saw the video, and does not know the name(s) of the NFL workers there, but he said he was sure that "there were people from the NFL who came and saw the video."

Update, 8 a.m. EDT: This morning's TMZ story makes no mention of employees visiting the casino, and claims the NFL never approached the Revel Casino for a copy of the video.

Add this to the growing pile of evidence suggesting that any claim that the NFL wasn't aware of what was on this video is bullshit. In addition to what we've been hearing, we now have ESPNer Jane McManus doubling down tonight on her assertion that multiple league sources told her that the NFL had access to all the evidence Rice's prosecutors did, and Mike Florio's somewhat tortured claim that a Ravens source told him the video may not have actually been all that damning. Anything more you think we should be aware of? Drop us a line—confidentiality assured.

[The Big Lead]