(NEW YORK) — Roger Goodell’s credibility is again being called into question after four sources told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice made it clear to the NFL commissioner that he punched his then-fiancee inside an Atlantic City casino elevator last February.
Goodell has said repeatedly that he did not learn the exact circumstances of the incident until viewing a surveillance video last Monday that showed Rice delivering a left hook to the face of Janay Palmer, who was knocked out cold by the force of the blow.
The sources insisted that Rice told the truth about what happened in the elevator when he was interviewed by Goodell. A fifth source, however, said Rice told Goodell he slapped Palmer, who he later married.
These new revelations, if true, raise questions as to why the commissioner initially gave Rice a two-game suspension, a decision roundly criticized as being too lenient. Goodell later amended the NFL’s policy involving domestic violence, increasing penalties on future offenders who commit domestic abuse.
However, Goodell and the NFL are clearly on the hot seat as to what they exactly knew about the Feb. 15 incident at the recently-closed Revel Casino Hotel and when they learned about it.
Meanwhile, the NFL said that it has authorized an independent probe into the entire matter to be headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Rice, who was cut by the Ravens this week and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, plans to appeal the decision by the league once he receives a letter that details the reasons for his suspension.
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