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The NFL never contacted the casino where former Ravens RB Ray Rice was shown brutalizing his then-fiancee to obtain the surveillance video that surfaced on Monday morning, a new TMZ report claims.
No one from the league asked for the video, sources connected to the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City tell TMZ, adding that if the NFL had asked for the video, they would have turned it over to them.
In addition to the original video, the casino made a copy for police and Rice’s lawyer also had a copy, TMZ adds.
Rice was quickly cut from the team and suspended indefinitely by the league after shocking surveillance footage that showed him abusing his then-fiancee Janay Palmer surfaced on Monday.
Meanwhile NFL analysts condemned Rice and applauded the Ravens’ move on a Monday conference call ahead of this Thursday’s Ravens-Steelers game, the first set to air on both CBS and the NFL Network under their new pact.
The NFL insisted on Monday that it hadn’t seen the video until TMZ posted it, with spokesman Brian McCarthy adding in a statement obtained by the The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that the league asked law enforcement officials for the video, but it was not made available to them.
Similarly, Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters that he and team executives, including owner Steve Bisciotti and GM Ozzie Newsome, had not seen the video until Monday because it had not been made available to them.
Appearing on Washington DC Fox affiliate WTTG on Monday night, TMZ founder Harvey Levin insisted the league knew the video existed and “turned a blind eye” to it.
“They didn’t do anything to look at this video, I believe” he said. “It was no secret that she was pulled out of an elevator unconscious, and the NFL, it almost feels like they didn’t want to know, and that’s really bad.”
DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG
TMZ co-executive producer Charles Latibeaudiere also told Fox Sports Live that someone from the NFL saw the video earlier, they just don’t know who.
“We’ve spoken to multiple sources at Revel Casino, which of course is now closed. But we’ve spoken to people who were working there at the time, and we are assured that someone from the NFL — it wasn’t [commissioner] Roger Goodell walking in, we know that, but there were people from the NFL who came and saw the video,” he said. “So now the question becomes how much of that information got back to Roger Goodell, and did he ever see an actual copy of the video?”
Latibeaudiere added that he doesn’t know who saw the video, but he knows that employees of the league were at the casino to see the video.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press viewed a longer version of the video on Monday night after it was shown to them by a law enforcement official.
In that video, which includes audio, Rice and Palmer can be heard shouting obscenities at each other and she appears to spit in his face before he knocks her out.
That video also includes audio from hotel staffers after Rice dragged Palmer out of the elevator.
A staffer is heard saying, “She’s drunk, right?, ” the AP reported. And then, “No cops.” Rice doesn’t respond.
In July, the NFL suspended Rice for two games after the domestic abuse charges surfaced.
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