Since the Ray Rice elevator incident was first reported in February, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh as seemingly been very supportive of the now outcasted running back. However, behind the scenes, this wasn’t the case. In fact, when Harbaugh first found out the details, his vote was for the Ravens to immediately cut Rice from the team.
Sanders relayed the information he had obtained on Feb. 15 to his bosses, but whether he spoke directly with Bisciotti or Cass or someone else who relayed the information remains unclear. Four days after the incident, TMZ Sports released a different surveillance video, shot from outside of the elevator, showing Rice impassively dragging Janay’s unconscious body out of the elevator. Although the grainy video did not show what had happened behind the elevator’s doors, the images horrified Ravens coach John Harbaugh, according to four sources inside and outside the organization. The Super Bowl-winning coach urged his bosses to release Rice immediately, especially if the team had evidence Rice had thrown a punch. That opinion was shared by George Kokinis, the Baltimore director of player personnel, according to a fifth source outside the organization but familiar with the team’s thinking.
But Harbaugh’s recommendation to cut the six-year veteran running back was quickly rejected by Ravens management: owner Bisciotti, team president Cass and GM Newsome.
Despite whatever private objections Harbaugh might have had, he was soon toeing the company line in public, selling the team’s decision to support Rice to the media. He said he felt the facts should determine the consequences, a phrase he used repeatedly. “There are a lot of facts and a process that has to be worked through in anything like this,” Harbaugh told reporters Feb. 21. “There are a lot of question marks. But Ray’s character — you guys know his character — so you start with that.”
Harbaugh had the decision to stay with the team or not after the Ravens executives vetoed his thought to immediately release Ray Rice. Instead, he chose to stay and sell the idea that all was well and Rice was “a heck of a guy.” I guess those are words you use when you can’t find anything nice to say.