(NEW YORK) — The NFL’s investigation into the domestic abuse case involving Ray Rice lacked thoroughness, according to a report released Thursday by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the Feb. 15 incident,” Mueller said in a statement accompanying the report.
The report says no one at the NFL saw the video of the former Ravens star punching his now-wife in the Revel casino elevator before it was posted to TMZ, but Mueller’s report suggested the NFL didn’t try very hard to obtain it.
“League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information. No one from the League asked Rice or his lawyer whether they would make available for viewing the in-elevator video they received as part of criminal discovery in early April,” Mueller wrote.
The NFL did not immediately comment on the report.
The NFL and Goodell came under scathing criticism for initially punishing Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, with just a two-game suspension. After the surveillance video became public, Goodell acknowledged falling short and suspended Rice indefinitely from the NFL.
Who was contacted by the NFL and when they were contacted have become central focuses of the domestic abuse scandal that engulfed the league and, for a time, jeopardized the commissioner’s career atop the most valuable sports organization in the country. Goodell, who has apologized repeatedly, has insisted efforts were made to find out what Rice had done to Janay Palmer, now his wife.
Mueller’s report said, “Had the League undertaken a more substantial investigation, it may have gathered available information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release.”
The report is flawed because the Associated Press, which reported a woman at the league confirmed receipt of the video in an April 9 telephone call, declined to cooperate.
“We have reviewed the report and stand by our original reporting,” said Kathleen Carroll, the AP’s executive editor.
The Atlantic City Police Department also declined to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, and those are the two parties who possibly would have been able to provide evidence that the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown.
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