The Ray Rice Video Is Not a Revelation

The NFL already knew that he'd hit his wife. Only now did it become expedient for the league to suspend him.

Sean Gardner/Reuters

As various networks and talking heads now congratulate the NFL for doing the right thing, it's worth remembering that the video of Ray Rice brutally assaulting his then girlfriend simply confirms the narrative that had already been reported. There was already deeply disturbing video of Rice dragging Janay Rice (née Palmer) out of an elevator. The complaint specifically accused Rice of committing "assault by attempting to cause bodily injury of J. Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious."

The NFL claims that it had never seen the video before today. But the video that was already out there, along with the reporting, was bad enough. The idea that it took today's release to understand the gravity of things is insupportable. You don't become a sports and entertainment juggernaut through absent-mindedness. Likely, there are other forces at work.

Back in July, Barry Petchesky wrote the following for Deadspin:

There is surveillance video, reportedly in the police's possession, that shows the blow that knocked Palmer out. One day that video will be leaked, and we'll all see Ray Rice deck a woman, and we'll remember that the NFL suspended him for two games.

That is exactly what happened. It will be very interesting to see if the NFL can make Rice's "indefinite" suspension stick. The league suspended Rice for a meager two games for knocking his wife unconscious. The league now propose to suspend him indefinitely for ... the same thing. This suspension only indirectly relates to the protecting women. It mostly relates to protecting the shield.