Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome Testifies Ray Rice Told Roger Goodell He Punched Janay Palmer Before Video Leak
Ozzie Newsome, the GM for the Baltimore Ravens, testified that former running back Ray Rice had informed Roger Goodell that he had punched Janay Palmer from the start of the investigation into the infamous elevator incident, spelling trouble for the NFL commissioner.
Ravens GM's Testimony
Under oath, Newsome testified on Thursday that he personally heard Rice admit to Goodell at his June 16 disciplinary hearing that he had hit Palmer at the Atlantic City casino, two sources told ESPN's Outside the Lines. During Thursday's appeal hearing Rice and Palmer also testifed.
Rice is currently appealing Goodell's decision on Sept. 8 to suspend him from the NFL indefinitely for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The indefinite supension came after video of the casino incident surfaced online and gave way to public outcry. Previously, after Rice had met with Goodell about the incident, he'd only received a two-game suspension. When asked why he had increased Rice's punishment, Goodell claimed he had been ignorant to the extent of the incident until the video leaked online.
"When we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened," Goodell told CBS's Norah O'Donnell.
"We did not know what led up to that," Goodell said, referring to the initial video that showed Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator. "We did not know the details of that. We asked for that on several occasions. It was unacceptable in and of itself what we saw on the first tape. And that's why we took action, albeit insufficient action. And we acknowledge that, we took responsibility for that — I did personally — and I take responsibility for that now. But what we saw yesterday was extremely clear and graphic and was absolutely necessary for us to take the action we did."
From the start, Newsome has maintained that Rice was upfront about what occurred in the horrific altercation. “Ray didn’t lie to me,” Newsome told the Baltimore Sun shortly after the video's release. His testimony about what Rice said to him and Goodell during the June 16 disciplinary will likely make or break Rice's appeal – and Goodell's tenure as the NFL commissioner.
"What occurred in the June 16 hearing is key to Rice's chances for reinstatement, sources said," according to ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr.