Rice & the NFL; Reality TV on Speed

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By Craig Cook

The news broke yesterday: AP reports allege a law enforcement official sent a copy of the ‘elevator footage’, of Ray Rice and his then girlfriend Janae, to someone at the NFL front office. It was also revealed a female, claiming to from the NFL not only accepted delivery of the video, but commented on it’s deplorability. 

This really doesn’t jive with what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had to say about the mysterious video back in April. Goodell claimed the NFL never had the video; the NFL never saw the video; the NFL never asked for the video; and the NFL was never offered the video.

At least ONE of these statements is a lie.  My explanation as to why in a second…The legal system is a weird and wonderful world, of not-so-happy places, and strange people- like lawyers. Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, someone acted inappropriately- at first blush. Being complicit in the acceptance of illegal evidence, or moving around due process could get someone in some serious trouble. I can only assume that maybe if the video had been leaked and sent to the NFL, legal counsel stepped in and told everyone to be quiet, and lock the video away. That may have been sound, technical ‘legal’ advice- but it has turned into a P.R. nightmare. And here is the why:

Someone has lied about this video. The mere existence of the video now indicates it existed back when this entire show was just beginning. While legal battles may have been taking place behind the scenes, we the people only saw the video of the aftermath of the elevator event. In order to drill down and find the truth, always look at who would have the most to lose monetarily.

Turns out the victim may not be the victim. Yes, Janae may have been the victim of a punch to the face (and I am NOT endorsing any of that behavior) and should have had charges filed in her favor against her the boyfriend, Ray. However, if all the details are boiled down, she stood to lose the most. She had yet to marry her meal ticket, and desperately looked to smooth the entire thing over, including apologies for stirring the pot and taking 50% of the blame.

We later saw how heinous the assault was- but at the time, nobody was the wiser. Maybe money was paid. Maybe money was promised. But this time around, the NFL may be the bystander, the victim could be the assailant, and the abuser could be getting fleeced.

Until the dust settles, and people start confessing to the identities on the voicemail, and internal memos and emails are released, the NFL looks dumb, and everyone looks like a loser.