5 Questions we have for the NFL regarding the Ray Rice case

Sep 11, 2014 at 9:42 a.m. ET

In July, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended from two NFL games under the league's personal conduct policy after he was arrested for striking his now-wife in February, rendering her unconscious. Both Rice and his spouse, Janay, were arrested on simple assault charges, and Rice seemed to get away with the crime with a slap on the wrist.

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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.

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Ray Rice

Photo credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com

1. When did you really see the video?

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.

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2. Did you honestly think, in this day and age, that the video wouldn't eventually go public?

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?

3. What do you know about that specific situation that no one else does?

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?

4. What are the conditions of Rice's return?

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."

5. How many other cover-ups like this have there been?

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?