Ray Rice Loses Baltimore Ravens Contract Over TMZ Video

Posted on: September 9, 2014, 05:30h. 

Last updated on: September 9, 2014, 04:26h.

Ray Rice dropped by Baltimore Ravens
A new TMZ-released video shows Ray Rice striking his then-fiancée-now-wife in a Revel Casino elevator. (Image: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)

Ray Rice was already the subject of plenty of scorn after he was charged with felony assault for an incident with then-fiancée Janay Palmer (the couple has since married) at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City in February. Ultimately, Rice was only suspended by the National Football League for two games, a decision that also sparked outrage among many fans, leading to Commissioner Roger Goodell admitting that harsher penalties were needed for domestic violence going forward.

Both the NFL and Rice are now going to face a new round of questions in the days to come. A second video of the incident was posted by TMZ early Monday morning, and it included footage that was much more graphic than what had previously been seen by the public. As a result, the Baltimore Ravens have terminated Rice’s contract.

New Video Reveals Knockout

In the initial video, Rice was seen dragging a presumably unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at Revel. But the new video also shows what happened inside the elevator moments before. In it, both Rice and Palmer are seen getting into the elevator. Seconds later, there is a scuffle, which ends with Rice throws a punch to Palmer’s face that knocks her head into the back railing of the elevator, after which she falls to the floor. The video then continues to show Rice drag her out of the elevator, a scene that also played out in the first video released to the public months ago.

In a statement from the NFL, officials claimed that the video was as new to them as it was to the public.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” the statement read. “That video was not made available to us. And no one in our office has seen it until today.”

Questions Raised About What NFL Knew

But that statement seems to contradict the reporting from numerous NFL reporters in the wake of the incident. In July, reports from prominent NFL writers such as Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen both referenced NFL officials having seen the video.

“There is one other thing I did not write or refer to, and that is the other videotape the NFL and some Ravens officials have seen, from the security camera inside the elevator at the time of the physical altercation between Rice and his fiancée,” King wrote at the time. Mortensen’s report mentioned details of the video that appear to accurately match those from the video released today.

According to reports that have been reiterated since the latest video was leaked, several NFL reporters said that they were told in private that the video showed Palmer being violent towards Rice, and that it may well have mitigated Rice’s punishment. Infamously, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted a controversial message that “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”

Since the February episode, Rice and Palmer married, and Palmer has publicly expressed support for Rice. The couple also met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before Rice’s punishment was announced, with Goodell saying that the short suspension was due to the fact that Rice appeared remorseful for his actions and because the charges against him had been dropped.

Under his initial suspension, Rice would have been eligible to return to the Ravens on Friday.