Shortly after the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice, the NFL announced that commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Rice indefinitely. According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the decision to suspend Rice is based on “new video evidence.”
After footage emerged of Rice hitting hit wife Janay Palmer on a hotel elevator and knocking her unconscious, the NFL and the Ravens claimed they had never seen the video prior to TMZ releasing it. Jason La Canfora reports that Ravens officials did not see the video but that Rice described what happened in detail and “did not sugarcoat it.”
A separate report indicated that Rice did plenty of sugarcoating, as one former teammate reportedly said Rice gave the Ravens the impression that Palmer attacked him and he was protecting himself from her.
I’d be surprised if Rice, who will have to apply for reinstatement into the league, does not file some sort of grievance or explore legal action. The important question will be how much the Ravens and the NFL knew. If Rice told them he hit his wife and knocked her unconscious, how can the Ravens release him and league suspend him just because the video got out? League officials must be confident they can prove they did not see the video and were not aware of what was on it.