Ray Rice Cover Up Alleged By ESPN, Ravens Call Report Inaccurate


Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) heads into the locker room in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Ray Rice saga appears to be far from over following a bombshell Friday evening that included a press conference from Roger Goodell and a potentially damaging report from ESPN.  ESPN’s Outside The Lines segment raises new allegations that the Ravens organization severely mishandled the Ray Rice situation.

Specifically, the report states that while conducting interviews with numerous people within the NFL, advisers, and friends of Ray Rice, ESPN “found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night.”  The Ravens responded to the allegations shortly afterwards by releasing a statement.

The Ravens claim that ESPN’s report “contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions, and perhaps, misunderstandings.”  It goes on to say that the Ravens will address each of the allegations following Sunday’s game against the Browns.

The most interesting allegation contained in the report claims that team owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass, and general manager Ozzie Newsome worked to help Rice gain clemency from prosecutors and the NFL following his domestic abuse incident.

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The report also claims that coach John Harbaugh and director of player personnel George Kokinis wanted the team to release Rice in February immediately after the incident occurred.  The Ravens denied this allegation outright, saying “John Harbaugh did not want to release Ray Rice until he saw the second video on September 8 for the first time. The video changed everything for all of us.”

The report also continues to claim that the Ravens had access to the video of Rice’s incident that ultimately led to his release. Rice’s lawyer, Michael J. Diamondstein, subpoenaed to obtain the video as evidence in the case.  He was allegedly very upfront about the contents of the video with Cass.

Instead of asking for access to the tape, ESPN claims that the team moved to figure out how they could keep Ray Rice on the field and out of prison.  By entering into a pretrial intervention program, Rice avoided a trial, which would have drug the video into the public eye.  And it resulted in a mere two game suspension.

For it’s part, ESPN is standing by their report, in light of the Raven’s denials.

Things certainly continue to get worse for both the Ravens organization and Roger Goodell.  Whether or not independent investigation finds anything worthwhile, we won’t know for a while.  But perhaps it’s time to everyone to come clean on the situation.  Waiting until Sunday to address the issues give the team time to formulate a response, but it also continues to raise doubts as to their validity.