Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has completed his investigation into the handling of the Ray Rice incident, which happened in February of 2013. In the 61 page report released this afternoon, the investigation concluded that no one in the NFL had any knowledge of or had seen the video from inside the elevator before it was released to the public during the second week of the season.
So let’s recap exactly what has led the NFL to this point of having a former FBI director lead an investigation into their handling of Ray Rice. Back in February, Ray Rice and his then fiance Janay Palmer entered an elevator in the Revel Casino Hotel and an hour later police were called because of an incident. Both Rice and Palmer were arrested, with Rice being charged with trying to cause bodily harm. Rice plead not-guilty in May in court and then he and Palmer, now his wife, met with Goodell in June. Goodell then suspended Rice for two regular season games without pay and fined an addition $58,824.
TMZ released the first video tape of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from the elevator over the summer and then on September 8th released the video of what happened inside the elevator. That same day, Rice was suspended indefinitely and the Ravens’ terminated his contract.
When Rice was suspended, the League and the Ravens’ organization denied having seen the video tape before TMZ released it to the public. Two days after all this, the Associated Press released a story claiming that a law enforcement official had not only sent a copy of the tape to the League offices but had received a voice mail from a female League employee stating she had gotten the tape. The investigation interviewed every female who was shown to have been in the building on the date in which this call took place and was unable to find any evidence that a female employee had placed such a call.
The investigation also brought in a data forensics team to completely scrub every hard drive, employee phone, emails, etc to find any evidence that someone within the league knew about this in elevator video and could not produce any evidence. The report does state that there had been enough evidence about the incident that should have alerted the League that they needed a more thorough investigation into said incident. Had the League done this investigation, they might have been able to find the in elevator video before it was released to the public.
The report goes on to detail all the steps taken to complete their four-month investigation and concludes that there is no evidence that anyone associated with the League knew about the tape before it was released. With the release of the Mueller Report, the League can now finally bring the Ray Rice incident to a close after a long eleven months of a media firestorm and focus on changing the current disciplinary procedures and other problems plaguing the NFL.