As many have noted, the NFL didn’t need to see a video to know that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice deserved more than a two-game suspension, as it had access to a police report that said he assaulted his now-wife “by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.” Regardless, when the NFL first saw the video has become a key question in the controversy, and now an anonymous law-enforcement official says he sent the recording to league security chief Jeffrey Miller in April, along with a note that said, “Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.”
Two weeks ago, the official told the Associated Press he sent the video to “an NFL executive” and played a 12-second voice-mail from an NFL office number, in which a female voice says, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
On Thursday night, the AP posted a follow-up report in which the officer gets more specific about what he sent to the league. “No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video,” the official said. “I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he’s their head of security. I attached a note saying: ‘Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.’ I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands.”
The officer said he chose Miller due his his background in law enforcement. Miller became the NFL’s director of strategic security in 2008, after serving six years as the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. He was promoted to chief security officer in April 2011.
Unsurprisingly, the NFL still claims no one in the organization ever saw the video until it wound up on TMZ. Miller responded via an NFL spokesman: “I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video, and I had not watched it until it was made public on September 8,” he said.
Aside from the voice-mail, there’s no proof that anyone in the building watched the tape. Another Jeffrey Miller works in the NFL’s lobbying division, but he says he didn’t receive the package. So either a terrified secretary has the package stashed in her desk somewhere, or Bill Simmons was right.