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Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has detailed what the team knew and when with respect to Ray Rice‘s domestic abuse incident as questions swirl about whether or not team or NFL officials had previously seen Monday’s shocking video of the running back knocking out his then-fiancee.
In a letter to Baltimore fans, Bisciotti admits, “We did not do all we should have done and no amount of explanation can remedy that. What we can do now is share with you everything that occurred and vow to learn from all that has happened.”
Bisciotti then takes fans through the Ravens’ account of what happened following Rice and his then-fiancee’s arrest, revealing that while the team initially tried to investigate what happened at the casino and obtain the video from inside the elevator, they later stopped looking into the matter.
In March, once the prosecutor dropped his case against Rice’s spouse, Janay, and elevated the charge against Rice to aggravated assault, “We decided to defer action until completion of the court proceedings,” Bisciotti writes. “We stopped seeking to view or obtain a copy of the video. We halted our fact-finding. That was a mistake on our part.”
Bisciotti, echoing coach John Harbaugh‘s comments earlier this week, says that once he saw the video from inside the elevator on Monday, he and fellow team officials quickly decided to cut Rice from the Ravens.
“Seeing that video changed everything. We should have seen it earlier. We should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously. We didn’t and we were wrong,” Bisciotti writes.
Bisciotti also details how, like the Ravens and the NFL have previously said, the team asked for video from inside the casino elevator to no avail.
“We contacted the casino management and asked if there was video of the incident from inside the elevator that we could see. The casino would not share such video,” Bisciotti writes. “We asked the local New Jersey police and the police refused as well. We asked the prosecutor’s office and that office refused. It was our understanding at that time that Ray’s attorney had not yet seen the video. NFL officials had been informed, and we know they were also trying to retrieve and/or see the video.”
He adds that going forward, the team will try to increase education and awareness of partner violence and that team officials “decided to support Ray Rice until we could not.”
In closing, Bisciotti writes, “We hope that Ray will continue to work to be the best husband, father and person he can be, and he will turn this awful situation into something positive. We also have learned a great deal and will continue to strive to be an organization and team you and Baltimore will be proud of. I am sorry we let you down.”
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