Video of Ray Rice punch released


TMZ Sports posted a video on Monday that it says shows Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February.

The incident drew a two-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a penalty that was so severely criticized as too lenient that Goodell recently revamped the league's policies regarding domestic violence and assault.

The NFL says it never saw the video until Monday. The grainy video apparently shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at the Revel Casino on Feb. 15. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Earlier video of Rice dragging Palmer from the elevator has ben shown repeatedly. The two married in March. Rice publicly apologized in May and was suspended in July.

Said league spokesman Brian McCarthy regarding the video: "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today."

TMZ has said it altered the video to "smooth out" what it described as jumpy, raw footage.

A Revel spokesperson told ABC News that the hotel gave a copy of the video posted by TMZ Sports to the police. The hotel, which closed Sept. 2, says it did not give it to TMZ.

On July 28, Adolpho Birch, the NFL's senior vice president of labor policy, was asked on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" program if the league had any additional information or videos not made available to the public, and he would not say whether the NFL had seen the video from inside the elevator.

Asked if the team had any comment on the new video, a Ravens spokesman said, "Not at this time."

The NFLPA echoed that sentiment in an email to ESPN.

"We have no comment at this time. Thank you," the email read.

While the union didn't comment, several players took to Twitter to speak out against what they saw in the video. Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton made it clear in several tweets Monday that Rice should be "thrown out [of] the NFL and thrown into jail." 

Rice was suspended by Goodell for two games on July 25. He was also fined more than $500,000 (two game checks from this season and one from 2013). He is scheduled to return to the Ravens on Friday, following the team's Thursday night game against the Steelers.

In the NFL's revamped policy against domestic violence, first-time offenders will be suspended for six games while players will receive a lifetime ban for a second offense.

"I made the biggest mistake of my life," Rice said in a news conference when the Ravens returned to camp in late July. "I want to own it."

After drawing heavy criticism, Goodell wrote a letter to NFL owners, saying, "I didn't get it right." He also wrote: "My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future reflect our values."

Former Redskins linebacker London Fletcher took to Twitter to voice his displeasure to Goodell.

In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial diversion program that permits certain defendants (usually first-time offenders) to avoid formal prosecution if they attend the program for a minimum of one year. If he completes it, the third-degree charge of aggravated assault he was charged with will be dismissed. The arrest, however, would stay on Rice's record, but without a conviction.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens when he was suspended. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously."

On Monday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) repeated his call for an increased penalty for Rice. Blumenthal, along with Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), in July sent a letter to Goodell and the Ravens calling on them to develop procedures for handling domestic violence and to impose a stiffer penalty on Rice. Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.