Transcript shows disparities in Goodell-Rice narrative

Roger Goodell’s testimony at the Ray Rice appeal hearings Nov. 5-6 shows multiple contradictions from his statements earlier in the year.

On Sept. 10, Goodell sent a memo to all 32 team owners ensuring them that the NFL had asked law enforcement authorities to share with them all relevant information regarding the Ray Rice elevator incident. However, just a day before, the league’s lead investigator on the Rice matter had actually told the league’s director of security that he had never requested the elevator video, ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” reported.

This NFL error is just one of the contradictions and attempts to sweep the facts under the rug drawing criticism. In a 631-page transcript of the Rice suspension-appeal hearing heard in early November, a copy of which was obtained by OTL, one of those contradictions came during questioning from NFL Players Association lawyer Jeffrey Kessler’s interview with Goodell.

The following transcript was attained by ESPN’s Don Van Natta.

Kessler: “… you said, ‘we asked for it on several occasions according to our security department. We went through it, we asked for it on several occasions over the spring, all the way through June.’ You see that statement? Did you make a comment like that?”

Goodell: “Yes, I remember that.”

Kessler: “Did you ever learn before or after that that in fact no formal request was made for videos about your security department of the police department who had it is that in fact they never made such a formal request?”

Goodell: “[What] does a formal request mean?”

Kessler: “Are you aware that there [are] laws in the State of New Jersey where people can file formal requests for information from the police department?”

Goodell: “I’m not an attorney.”

Kessler: “Let me just say, is it your understanding when you made your second decision that your people had done whatever formal means they could to get the first video or not? Do you have any understanding of that one way or the other?”

Goodell: “I had an understanding they had asked for any information that would be pertinent to this case. It would be helpful to us and we’d get a very limited amount of information. I think what’s mentioned in the indictment and the pre-trial intervention there may have been other information.”

Kessler: “Would it have affected your determination if you had seen an e-mail in which the security person responsible said I never specifically made a formal request of the police department for any tapes, would that have affected your determination at all if you had that information?”

Goodell: “As I said before, I don’t know what you mean by formal, but I know they requested the tape.”

The NFL’s attorney at this point objected to the line of questioning, and the judge agreed to stop it, but Kessler persisted.

Kessler: “So on September 9th, Mr. Buckley writes to Mr. Miller, ‘again, I never spoke to anyone from the casino or police department about the tape.’ Okay. What I’m going to ask you, did you ever become aware prior to imposing your second discipline that security people had not really spoken to the police department or the casino about getting the inside the elevator tape?”

Goodell: “I wasn’t aware of the fact that they tried to get it from law enforcement. I do not know the specifics.”

In the fallout from the incident, the NFL unveiled its new personal conduct policy Wednesday that highlighted the creation of a new ownership committee and the pending hire of a new disciplinary officer to handle person policy issues.

According to the Wall Street Journal, since 2000, there have been 135 domestic violence allegations against NFL players. Cases varied from charges being dropped after wives or girlfriends withdrew the accusations, to no-contest pleas by players. The league punishments typically were, at most, one-game suspensions.

Source: MSN Sports

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