As you may have heard, Ray Rice is in the process of appealing his indefinite suspension from the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday, ESPN reported that Rice will argue that his punishment was unfair because it was based on TMZ’s “cleaned-up, whittled down and condensed” video of him knocking out Janay Palmer, as opposed to the original recording of the punch.
TMZ responded to this news by calling Rice’s supposed claim “the dumbest defense ever,” but a more accurate label might be “the most shameless defense ever.” TMZ has always been upfront about the fact that it smoothed out the surveillance camera footage of the couple’s violent argument, and the unaltered tape was put online on the same day as the better-quality one. While the raw video is jerky and blurrier than TMZ’s version, it still clearly shows Rice beating Palmer. If Rice (and the reluctant NFL Players Association) does trot out this argument, the running back might be able to get off on a technicality, but there will still be no mistaking what happened in that elevator.