Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The NFL and Ray Rice

Really, this makes me so angry that I don't even want to write about it. I think there's a point to be made, though, that other people don't seem to be making.

If you don't live in the U.S., here's a quick summary. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was in an Atlantic City casino with his fiancee. They argued outside an elevator. They stepped into the elevator, continued the argument, and Rice knocked her out with a straight left.

Until yesterday, the public had seen the video outside the elevator, but not what happened inside the elevator. What was particularly incredible, maybe even more so than the punch, was that after he knocked his fiancee out and she's unconscious on the floor of the elevator, Rice doesn't pay any attention to her. He's not checking on her condition, even though she's unconscious. It's horrifying in every conceivable way.

When this video broke on TMZ yesterday, the NFL was very quick to take action. The Ravens cut him, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The NFL also issued a statement saying that when they issued the original two-game suspension to Rice, they had never seen the footage inside the elevator, only the outside footage.

This is 100%, absolute bullshit.

The NFL has a security operation that would make the FBI blush. Actually, quite a few of the operatives in that operation are ex-FBI agents. They would clearly have had a longstanding relationship with local and state police in one of the most prominent casino cities in the country. They are 100% hooked up.

So when the NFL says they "asked for all relevant footage" and weren't given the video, that's an absolute lie. Roger Goodell is a control freak. The NFL is a bulldozer when it comes to these kinds of investigations. There's no way they would decide that their investigation could be completed without that footage.

Rice's defense attorney had a copy of the footage, but the NFL didn't?

It is entirely implausible to think that the NFL didn't see the footage. Of course they did.

What IS the most plausible scenario? It's not complicated. The NFL, in collusion with other parties, attempted to bury the video. They were certain that the footage would never be seen. Then TMZ blew them up yesterday, and they had to take action.

If Roger Goodell saw this footage--and in all likelihood, he did--he should resign. That probably won't happen, though. What will most likely happen is that some underling will suddenly admit to having seen the footage, not sending it further up the NFL food chain, and he will resign instead.

The fall guy.

This entire episode is just sickening.

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