On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the NFL asked for the second Ray Rice video but was unable to obtain it before he suspended Rice for two games for domestic violence. Goodell also said he believed his job was not in danger because of his handling of the situation.
“We asked for it on multiple occasions,” Goodell said in an interview on CBS Evening News. “We asked law enforcement and they were not willing to provide it. I think they were under some legal requirements not to provide it, as I understand it.”
Goodell said the league “suspected” the second video, which shows Rice sucker punching his then-fiancee in an elevator and knocking her unconscious, existed and asked for it, But he contended that nobody from the league saw it before Monday. He said the video was “sickening” and “very difficult for anyone to accept.”
“I got into our office, and our staff had come to me and said, ‘There’s no evidence; there’s a video that you need to see,’ and I watched it then,” he said.
He said there was “no ambiguity” with the second video and that it was not consistent with the initial video that showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator. Goodell implied that Rice’s camp gave the league an “ambiguous” description of the elevator video.
Goodell also admitted that “we didn’t get this right and I’m accountable,” but said he did not think his job was in danger.
“No. No,” he said when asked about his job security. “I’m used to the criticism. We’ve listened. We’ve learned and we’ve tried to adjust our policies when necessary, and we did that in this case.”
Goodell said he did not know how TMZ, which released the video, got the video and said the league tried to obtain it from law enforcement. New Jersey’s attorney general’s office had earlier said that it would have been illegal for law enforcement or the casino to release the video to the NFL.
“I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information,” Goodell said. “We are particularly reliant on law enforcement – that’s the most reliable. It’s the most credible. And we don’t seek to get that information form sources that are un-credible.”