Ray Rice Told NFL Commissioner in June that He Hit Fiancee, Reports ESPN

| by Michael Allen

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice reportedly told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16 that he punched his then-fiancee (current wife) Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February.

However, Goodell told CBS News on Tuesday, "When we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened."

Goodell also said, "Well, we certainly didn't know what was on the [punching] tape. But we have been very open and honest."

ESPN reporter Don Van Natta quoted four unidentified sources who claim that Rice clearly told Goodell on June 16 that he hit Palmer and knocked her unconscious.

"Ray didn't lie to the commissioner," one source told ESPN. "He told the full truth to Goodell, he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn't happen again."

"He told the truth," added a second source. "This is a public lynching of Ray."

"There was no ambiguity about what happened [in the elevator]," said a third source.

A fourth source claimed that Rice told Goodell exactly what happened during their meeting.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that the punching video was sent by an unidentified law enforcement official to an NFL executive in April, which would also contradict Goodell's claim that the NFL couldn't get a copy of the video.

"On multiple occasions, we asked for it," Goodell told CBS News. "And on multiple occasions we were told no. I understand that there may be legal restrictions on them sharing that with us. And we've heard that from attorneys general and former attorneys general."

The NFL recently announced that former FBI chief Robert Mueller would head an independent investigation of the Rice punching video and the NFL.

However, ESPN reported that Mueller "is a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale, which helped negotiate the NFL's Sunday Ticket package with DirecTV. The firm also has represented Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, and several former members of the firm have taken positions with NFL teams."

Sources: CBS News, ESPN, Associated Press (Image Credit: Keith Allison)