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TMZ Says They Have Proof NFL ‘Turned A Blind Eye’ In Ray Rice Situation

The other shoe has dropped in the ongoing and increasingly ugly saga of running back Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, who was arrested in February for what his attorney initially described as a “very minor physical altercation” at a hotel in Atlantic City.

Within days the aftermath of the “very minor physical altercation” was released by TMZ, a video showing Rice dragging around the unconscious body of fiancée Janay Palmer, who he has since married, like a sack of dirty laundry. It was a very disturbing scene and the first instance of an attempted coverup of what happened because there was nothing minor about that video.

Despite the disturbing nature of the video and a sharp public outcry, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who until the recent change in policy had absolute authority to act at his own discretion in such matters, responded with a laughable two-game suspension for Rice. The backlash to the decision has been ongoing, but the release of another video on Monday morning has changed everything for Rice, the Ravens, and especially the NFL.

The video surveillance footage from inside the elevator finally put to rest any remaining ridiculous belief that Palmer was, in one way or another, asking for it—although I still struggle to piece together any scenario in which her behavior would’ve warranted being knocked out cold. Of course, for anyone with both a heart and a brain, the scene that unfolded in the video was the most logical explanation, based on what was shown of the aftermath.

The graphic video shows Rice engaged in what looks to be a verbal altercation with Palmer prior to stepping on the elevator. Once the doors close, things quickly escalate as he strikes her first and she attempts to strike him back. Rice hit back with a knock out punch that knocks Palmer off her feet and to the ground, smashing her head on the elevator handrail on the way down.

After months of unwavering and excessive public support for Rice, the Ravens finally stopped their ill-advised PR campaign and cut ties with the embattled running back. News of the decision to terminate his contract was delivered in a one sentence statement via Twitter Monday afternoon. Not long after the NFL followed suit, announcing Rice had been suspended indefinitely.

Twitter Image: @Ravens

Twitter Image: @Ravens

That could’ve been the end of the story, but questions remain about what the NFL knew about the scene that unfolded in that elevator and when they knew it. It was widely assumed and even reported on by members of the media such as Peter King, despite his backpedaling, that the video was made available through the course of their investigation and had been seen by people within the league office.

The NFL and the Ravens, on the other hand, have flat-out denied those claims, insisting Monday was the first time anyone within either organization had seen it. Although it’s very hard to believe commissioner Goodell would’ve acted without seeing all available evidence, it looked like their claims of ignorance were going to stand because with everyone covering for one another, there was no proof to refute them.

Enter TMZ…again.

The site’s head honcho Harvey Levin, who was a lawyer in another life, appeared on Fox5 Philly on Monday afternoon and said that proof exists that the NFL’s denials are bull and he plans to release it on Tuesday morning.

“When you wake up tomorrow, go to the website, our website, and you will see what the NFL didn’t do,” Levin said.”I believe they turned a blind eye to it. The NFL knew this surveillance video existed, they knew the casino has surveillance video, and we will explain [on Tuesday] why we know they knew that … but they did. They didn’t do anything to look at this video.”

That’s quite a teaser.

It should be noted that Levin peddles primarily in celebrity gossip and human misery, so he has a personal stake in stoking the fires here. That being said, TMZ gets it right far more often than they get it wrong, and their brand wouldn’t be very well served by making false promises on one of the biggest stories they’ve ever broken.

If Levin’s word is to be trusted, the NFL is in for an even worse day on Tuesday. Ignorance and bad decision making are one thing, but orchestrating a wide-spread coverup just to save face? That’s something else altogether. And it’s something unforgivably sinister enough to potentially put jobs in jeopardy.

We’ll just have to wait till Tuesday to see! But the NFL might want to do some preemptive shopping tonight, because if TMZ can legitimately prove a coverup, there’s no way they’ll ever be able to clean off the mountain of sh*t that’s about to hit their fan.

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