The NFL has consistently shown throughout the Ray Rice saga it has no idea how to deal with domestic assault, perhaps not more obviously than when the league interviewed Janay and Ray Rice at the same time during a June 16th hearing. Questioning the victim of domestic assault in the presence of her attacker, let alone putting them on the same side, is unbelievably absurd.
Allegedly, Janay made a defense of Ray at that hearing that played a role in Goodell's initial two-game suspension, at least according to Peter King. Here's how King described the hearing in July:
Rice's wife, a source said, made a moving and apparently convincing case to Goodell during a June 16 hearing at Goodell's office in Manhattan—attended by Rice, GM Ozzie Newsome, club president Dick Cass of Baltimore; and Goodell, Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch of the league—that the incident in the hotel elevator was a one-time event, and nothing physical had happened in their relationship before or since. She urged Goodell, the source said, to not ruin Rice's image and career with his sanctions.
Well today, Palmer released her version of the whole story through ESPN, in a piece written by Jemele Hill in an "as-told-to" type of interview. (Interestingly, Janay had editorial control over the "content and release date" of the interview.) Here's how she described the hearing:
I really didn't think they would ask me any questions, but I was asked one. I was surprised I was asked anything at all. One of the NFL executives asked me how I felt about everything. And I broke down in tears. I could hardly get a word out. I just told him that I was ready for this to be over.
Janay's account is clearly different than what Goodell's mouthpiece King reported in July. Judge Barbara S. Jones, who today ruled in favor of Ray in his arbitration case, reiterated Janay's story of the hearing in her ruling:
On June 16, when Birch directed the conversation to her and asked how she felt, she couldn't speak; she just cried and said "I'm just ready for it to be over." Tr. 516:25- 517:7.
Janay's description continues to hammer home that the NFL's misinformation campaign — led by stooges such as King — has never been based on anything logical. The league is making stuff up as it goes along, shockingly unprepared for the next leak of the truth. And each subsequent release of what really happened only paints Goodell as a bigger liar.
Photo via AP