The NFL and Baltimore Ravens are sticking with their story — they claim that they never saw the inside the elevator video of Ray Rice assaulting Janay Palmer until it was released by TMZ on Monday morning. Of course, that completely contradicts what was reported by guys like Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and notably ESPN’s Chris Mortensen over the summer.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti issued a statement to season ticket holders on Tuesday apologizing for the team’s failure to watch the Rice video:
We contacted the casino management and asked if there was video of the incident from inside the elevator that we could see. The casino would not share such video. We asked the local New Jersey police and the police refused as well. We asked the prosecutor’s office and that office refused. It was our understanding at that time that Ray’s attorney had not yet seen the video. NFL officials had been informed, and we know they were also trying to retrieve and/or see the video.
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio writes that the Ravens could have viewed the tape from Rice’s lawyer, who had a copy of it as part of the investigation.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin writes that Mort “reported on the contents of the video, based on what his sources had told him.”
"Ray Rice strikes her twice, and her head hits the rail."
Petchesky posted this audio from a radio interview Mortensen did back in July:
If the NFL hadn’t seen the video, how did Mortensen’s sources within the league know exactly what happened before it was publicly released?