The full video of Ray Rice knocking out then-fiancee (and now wife) Janay Palmer emerged Monday morning courtesy of TMZ. And it is bad. Really, really bad.
You can watch the video above, but it definitely deserves a warning. It's very disturbing video.
Rice's lawyer tried to frame the confrontation earlier this year at an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino as being Rice defending himself after Palmer attacked him. The video tells a different story. And the video doesn't lie. The two get into a very brief verbal argument — presumably stemming from an earlier confrontation — and Rice just knocks her out cold with one punch to the head. She falls and hits her head on a metal railing in the elevator as well.
Palmer is injured so severely it takes two minutes for her to be able to get to her feet. Previously, we only saw the end of the tape when Rice dragged her limp body out of the elevator.
The NFL suspended Rice for an absurdly lenient two games before the season began. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he made a mistake with the minor suspension, and recently instituted new suspensions for domestic violence. A first offense will receive a six-game suspension and a second offense will kick the player out of the league.
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The scary thing about the NFL's original suspension is that many are reporting the league had access to this video before making the ruling.
Re Ray Rice knockout punch: I was told NFL had access to same evidence the police did when evaluating a 2-game suspension.— Jane McManus (@janesports) September 8, 2014
The NFL has said they did not have the video, but the reporting of many at the time of the initial suspension say otherwise. Of course, if they didn't see the video, why? They knew the casino elevator had a camera and they knew the police would have the tape. So, what, they just didn't push to see it?
Either way, the NFL has to come down hard on Rice as soon as possible. They hid behind a lack of evidence at the time and that's no longer the case.