In a development that has turned for the worst within the Baltimore Ravens organization, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti allegedly knew about the second video in the elevator between Ray Rice and Janay Rice at the Revel Hotel Casino in New Jersey in February of this year according to ESPN's "Outside the LInes".
Also, according to ESPN's "Outside The Lines" the Ravens knew within hours of the incident between Ray Rice and Janay Rice in the elevator. After seeing the video, "Outside The Lines" reports that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wanted Ray Rice gone the minute he saw Ray Rice drag his wife out of the elevator. However, Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome overruled Harbaugh and decided to keep Ray Rice.
From that moment on, the Ravens allegedly did what they could to keep Ray Rice due to his great image in the city of Baltimore before the entire incident started. The Ravens made a public campaign to back Ray Rice throughout hoping the video wouldn't get out to the general public. Either way, too late for that.
The entire campaign for defending Ray Rice looks even worse when the Ravens allowed Janay Rice to speak in the first press conference between her and Ray Rice after the elevator incident. Janay Rice blamed herself for her actions that night in the elevator. All of this for a player who was coming off the worst season of his career. "Outside The Lines" goes into greater detail below:
"To understand why Ravens executives rushed to defend Rice, who had his worst year as a pro in 2013 with an average of 3.1 yards per carry, one needs to consider how important he had become to the franchise in general and, in particular, to Bisciotti. No player did more for the community than Rice, and no player on the team embraced the city of Baltimore the way he did. Rice named his daughter, Rayven, after the team's nickname.
He had the "Baltimore" tattooed on his forearms. He became friends with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, appearing with her regularly at charity events. He raised millions for sick children, urged the state legislature in Annapolis to pass anti-bullying laws and hosted a football camp for hundreds of disadvantaged kids each year."
This goes against everything Bisciotti noted after the second elevator video broke out. Bisciotti brought out a statement last week that he and the Ravens organization was left in the dark as to how horrible the situation went down in the elevator by Ray Rice and Janay Rice. Bisciotti said that he didn't believe that Ray Rice told an accurate story as he explained below via WBALtv.com.
“I was picturing her wailing on him and him smacking her, and maybe her head was this far from the wall, and with her inebriation, dropped. So why did I conclude all of that? Because I wanted to, because I loved him, because he had a stellar record and the cops had already seen video. So I assumed it wasn't a forceful blow that moved her head 3 feet into that wall. That's what I regret."
And then the Ravens have to to deal with this statement continued by Bisciotti via WBALtv.com.
"Can you imagine if that came out that the Baltimore Ravens had sent somebody up there to pay somebody behind the scenes to release something that they didn't have the right to release as an employee of the casino and that came out?"
How can Bisciotti flat out say this with all of the questions surrounding the team? How can Bisciotti make the statement he made and think that he and the rest of the Ravens organization won't answer questions later on? Did Bisciotti really believe that this side of the story would never get out? This side of the story from Bisciotti only makes sense if he is telling the truth. If not, Bisciotti will have to answer more questions down the road.
Cass and Newsome did their best in front of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to support Ray Rice. Janay Rice also pleaded to Goodell as well according to Outside The Lines below:
"With his wife sitting by his side in a conference room, Rice told Goodell that he hit her and knocked her out, according to four sources. Cass and Newsome spoke on Rice's behalf. So did Janay, who emotionally asked Goodell not to impose a penalty on Rice that would take away their livelihood and besmirch his name."
It is hard to imagine that Bisciotti would risk everything personally and everything from the Ravens perspective over a running back in Ray Rice who was coming off the worst season of his career. At one point from 2009 through 2012, Ray Rice was arguably the best player on the Ravens roster. Going forward that certainly wasn't going to be the case.
However, Harbaugh denies that he saw the second video of Ray Rice punching his wife earlier in the year according to "Outside The Lines".
"Outside the Lines" contacted Harbaugh on Friday morning to ask if he felt he'd been kept in the dark during any part of the process, and the coach reaffirmed his stance that he did not know Rice had violently punched his future wife until Sept. 9, when TMZ released the second video from inside the elevator."
Now that there is story to an alleged cover up from the Ravens side of things, how do the Ravens go forward? Is Bisciotti going to be forced to sell the team? Is Newsome going to be forced out? Is Cass going to be forced out as well? Who knows?
With the backlash that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has gotten from the inept handling of domestic violence and violence in general in the NFL, Goodell has been asked to quit by many in the general public including the National Organization for Women.
It wouldn't be a stretch at this time to note that Bisciotti could be dealing with the same circumstances at the moment regardless of how things turn out.
To make matters worse, the Ravens over the past week have erased almost everything the team shared with Ray Rice since he was drafted by the Ravens in 2008 including allowing fans to return Ray Rice jerseys. The Ravens organization might have more erasing to do if all of this comes out as true.