Sources close to Ray Rice told NBC News on Friday that Rice specifically detailed in a June interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he had hit his fiancée in a casino elevator, contradicting Goodell’s account of the meeting.
ESPN first reported the characterization of sources close to Rice on Thursday. Goodell told CBS News earlier this week that he based his original, two-game suspension of Rice on an “ambiguous” account of what happened between Rice and the fiancée, Janay Palmer, now his wife, at the casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in February.
Janay Palmer Rice attended that June meeting between Goodell and Rice. Also in attendance from the league were Jeff Pash, the NFL's general counsel, and Adolpho Birch, the NFL's vice president for labor policy. Baltimore Ravens President Dick Cass and team general manager Ozzie Newsome were also present, as were Players Association lawyers Tom DePaso and Heather McPhee.
ESPN reported on Friday that the NFL told Rice that it increased Rice’s penalty, from two games to an indefinite suspension, because the video of what happened in the elevator was “starkly different” from what Rice had described.
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