What merits a two-game suspension to from the NFL. But, as the team would still remind us, this kind of thing entails mutual responsibility: for one person to punch someone in the face requires another person to be punched in the face, so really everyone has a role in the “incident.”
Relatedly, some classic Peter King hackery.
…to be fair and balanced, it must be noted that we have no evidence that Ray Rice ever committed a real offense of seriousness like selling his NCAA jerseys, threatening the country’s most precious resource, its Noble Ideals of Amateurism.
There are three possible explanations here. The first is that every single reporter who said the NFL had seen the video was lying. This seems unlikely, since they were all telling the same lie, both for public consumption and in their off-the-record talks with us.
The second is that the NFL was lying to all of the top football reporters back then about having seen the video, in some attempt to smear Janay Palmer.
The third is that the NFL is lying now about not having seen the video—that league officials saw what everyone has now seen, for whatever reason actually found it exculpatory, and are now making false claims to protect the league’s image. This interpretation is supported by an employee of the Revel, the Atlantic City casino where the fight took place. He tells TMZ that the NFL saw the footage before disciplining Rice.
Whatever the case, it’s almost certain that the NFL lied at some stage here, and that the league played a handful of its most loyal reporters in the process, suborning them into a smear campaign against a victim of domestic violence.