Roger Goodell stated in a Tuesday night telephone interview with the USA Today that he did not see the Ray Rice elevator video until Monday Morning.
“We asked for it on multiple occasions,” Goodell explained, via Christine Brennan. “We asked law enforcement and they were not willing to provide it. I think they were under some legal requirements not to provide it, as I understand it.”
This statement comes in the wake of strong public sentiment condemning the NFL and Goodell specifically for either failing to seek out the video, or for withholding information about when the league actually saw the video.
The interview continued with Goodell responding to the question of whether he knew of the tape’s existence with “We suspected (it existed), that’s why we asked for it. So we said: ‘Is there any other information? Is there a video in the elevator? We would like to view it, we want to have all the information.’ “
Goodell added that he found the video “sickening“, and that Rice provided an “ambiguous description” of what happened in the elevator that culminated in the footage seen in the initial tape released.
Goodell proceeded to defend his actions, noting that the new indefinite suspension handed down is in accord with the league’s new policy regarding domestic violence.