Last week, claims were made that the NFL had the footage of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his significant other at an Atlantic City casino. CBS Sports reported on Sunday, Sept. 28, that the Associated Press correspondent responsible for the article on said claims, Rob Maaddi, heard a voicemail left by an employee at the NFL confirming they received the tape. This evidence led to the release of his article on Sept. 26.
On Thursday, Maaddi reported that an anonymous law enforcement officer confirmed that he sent the Rice elevator video footage to the NFL addressed to league security chief Jeffrey Miller in April. The source said that he received a voicemail confirmation on April 9 from someone in the NFL saying that they received it. It remains unclear what happened to the surveillance footage after its arrival at the NFL office.
Although the law enforcement source did not have the authorization to share the video, he wanted to share it with the NFL before they issued a punishment for Rice. “Since the NFLPA and NFL have launched separate investigations into the league and the Ravens’ handling of Ray Rice’s case, I want to make a few things clear. No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video,” the source told AP.
“I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he’s their head of security. I attached a note saying: `Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.’ I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands.”
Since TMZ released the elevator video on Sept. 8 both the NFL and Miller have denied ever seeing the video until it was released to the public. “I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video and I had not watched it until it was made public on September 8,” Miller said through an NFL spokesperson on Thursday.
League and Baltimore Ravens officials said they had asked for the surveillance footage prior to its release, but were denied access to it. Rice was initially given a two-game suspension for hitting his then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer in February. After the elevator footage was released the team cut Rice and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely from the league.
Maaddi confirmed on ESPN’s Sportscenter on Sunday that he did hear the voicemail from the NFL, and that the number listed on the source’s caller ID was in fact the number for the main NFL office. Maaddi noted that the AP policy for anonymous sources is that they need hard evidence for the claim, and that is what their source gave him.
The NFL employees hundreds of people, and there remains no evidence of who the caller was. “And let’s be clear here: We have never, ever accused the NFL, Roger Goodell or Jeffrey Miller of viewing the video, or any wrongdoing,” Maaddi said. “All we have stated is that the video was in the building and a woman called to confirm she received it. Who that woman is, that’s the key to solving this puzzle.”