Yesterday, Ray Rice was terminated from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended by the NFL after a video of him knocking his then fiancée, now wife, unconscious was obtained and distributed by TMZ. The video shows Rice violently knocking Janay Palmer's head against the elevator wall and into a metal railing.
The incident happened in February, and shortly thereafter, a shorter video showing Rice dragging Palmer away from the elevator surfaced. In March, Rice was charged with felony assault, though Palmer did not testify against him and the couple wed about a month after the abuse occurred. (He made a plea deal and avoided jail time.) In July, the NFL gave Rice a two-game suspension, but yesterday, after the TMZ video circulated, the suspension was extended to "indefinite."
Yesterday, NFL officials repeatedly denied having seen the tape inside the elevator previous to TMZ's distribution, despite previous reports that they knew the video existed and perhaps had seen it. At a press conference yesterday evening, Ravens coach John Harbaugh also stressed to reporters that he did not see the tape before Monday.
However, Sports Illustrated's Peter King was told by a reliable source that NFL officials did have access to the complete video recording before the two-game suspension decision was made. (That's also a slight deviation from a report by King over the summer, which suggested NFL officials had watched the tape.) Having access to the tape does not mean Commissioner Roger Goodell and other officials saw the tape, only that they could have seen it if they had requested to.