For months we’ve discussed why the NFL never saw the 2nd video, where Rice struck his wife.
There were discussions about the authorities, the hotel and the media possessing the tape, but no one ever thought to ask Rice if he had a copy.
In her 17-page ruling announcing the reversal of Rice’s indefinite suspension, former U.S. Judge Barbara S. Jones concludes that Rice had obtained the video from the prosecution as part of the discovery process in his criminal case, and that the NFL never asked to see it.
From page four of the written decision, “Rice had received this video in discovery during his criminal case, but the NFL never asked Rice for the second video.”
That’s a point that was first raised in this space on August 4, more than a month before the second video was released. At a time when everyone assumed that the NFL had seen the video of the strike that knocked Janay Palmer Rice out, Jay Glazer of FOX said on The Dan Patrick Show that the NFL hadn’t seen the video. Alarmed by that disclosure, I determined the NFL hadn’t seen the video, but that it could have gotten the video easily.
The topic was revisited on September 8, after the video emerged, the Ravens cut Rice, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. But the league had never publicly addressed whether it asked Rice for the video.
Privately, some have pointed to a strong likelihood that Rice’s lawyer wouldn’t have allowed him to produce the tape. Those concerns appear nowhere within Judge Jones’ ruling, and for good reason. Rice, as the client, owns the contents of the lawyer’s file. Rice, as the client, has the power to tell the lawyer what will and won’t be shared with, for example, Rice’s employer.