The results of a four-month investigation of the NFL by former FBI director Robert Mueller were released Thursday, and they conclude the league never had or saw the video of Ray Rice punching Janay Rice in an Atlantic City elevator.
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell came under fire after video surfaced in September of Rice punching out his then-fiance. The league denied having seen or even knowing about the video when Rice was handed a two-game suspension. The release of the video later prompted an indefinite suspension.
Mueller’s report validates the NFL’s stance, and goes on to say there was no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014.
The report was commissioned to answer two main questions: First, did the NFL view the Rice video? And second, what information was obtained, provided or available to the NFL during its investigation of the Rice incident?
With regard to the second question, Mueller’s report concluded the following:
-The NFL’s deference to law enforcement “can foster an environment in which it is less important to understand precisely what a player did than to understand how and when the criminal justice system addresses the event.”
-The NFL’s deference to the law enforcement process involving Mr. Rice “led to deficiencies in the League’s collection and analysis of information during its investigation.”
-The NFL had “substantial information suggesting a serious event had occurred inside the elevator that the League should have further investigated.” Had the League done so, “it may have uncovered additional information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release.”
The report offered several recommendations for the NFL, including a specialized investigation team for domestic violence and guidelines to encourage more thorough investigations.
The full report is available at RobertMuellerReport.com.