The public didn't seem to give too much thought to the assault or punishment at the time, but earlier this week, video surveillance from the elevator where the beating took place showed a brutal crime that deserved a much harsher punishment. NFL officials claim they didn't see the tape until the public did, but details are hazy, and something definitely seems fishy. If we could get NFL execs in a room, we'd have a few questions we'd like them to answer.
The NFL claims it saw the video with all the rest of us, but law enforcement officials say they handed over the tape to the NFL long ago so officials there could factor it in when deciding Rice's punishment, according to CNN. The law enforcement official reportedly even has a voice mail from someone in the NFL's office on April 9 saying, "You're right, it's terrible," that serves as a receipt of the footage being received. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league asked for the video on several occasions, but was denied. So it seems either law enforcement is lying, or the NFL is lying.
We're operating under the assumption that NFL execs saw the video earlier this year and decided to keep it quiet. We bet they got some sweaty palms when a hotel employee leaked the Solange/Jay Z elevator scuffle. We're in the digital age, folks. If something is photographed or caught on video, there's a strong chance it's going to go public at some point. The NFL could not possibly be a naive organization that would believe the brutal video would never leak, could it?
Does the NFL know something about that night that would cause it to turn a blind eye? Not that there is ever any reason or excuse for domestic violence, but do execs know something that made them soften to the situation? Or did they condone the behavior because Rice is a moneymaker?
Goodell said Wednesday that Rice's suspension is indefinite, but not set in stone. CBS asked if there is a possibility that Rice could return to the game, and the commissioner gave a surprising answer considering the current climate. "I don't rule that out," Goodell said to CBS via nbcsports.com. "Clearly, he has paid a price for the actions he's already taken."
Surely, if the NFL knew about the tape and doled out a punishment that didn't fit the crime, it's not its first rodeo. Which leaves us wondering: How many other situations have the NFL swept under the rug after being given information about its players' violent crimes by law enforcement?
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