MANHATTAN -- Commissioner Roger Goodell has acknowledged that the NFL mistakenly viewed the Erin Andrews peephole video when originally trying to determine appropriate discipline in the domestic violence case against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
"We did have access to an infamous video, but it turned out not to be the infamous video we thought it was," said Goodell. "We watched the video for hours, days, months in hopes that it would provide some answers, but we did not see Ray, his wife nor even an elevator anywhere in that video. We replayed a lot of the stuff we saw, especially the ironing board sequence, but we couldn't spot Ray or his wrinkled clothes at all."
The commissioner also agreed with critics that the NFL's experienced security staff should have been able to obtain the correct video of the Rice incident.
"The video we viewed was obtained online from a source in Dubai that promised 'See Ray Rice Punch His Wife ... View Erin Andrews' Spectacular Butt ... Get Your Designer Shroud of Turin ... all for just $19.95,"' said Goodell. "Obviously, we didn't get everything we paid for."
Rice was originally suspended two games for assaulting his then-fiancee and future wife in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino, a punishment deemed too lenient by many critics and domestic violence support advocates. The incident was captured on an elevator surveillance camera. Because of the backlash, Goodell issued a tougher set of guidelines for those involved in domestic violence incidents, but let Rice's suspension stand.
"We take domestic violence as seriously as we take the Cowboys defense," said Goodell at that the time.
Then, the elevator video surfaced earlier this week, when TMZ Sports obtained a copy and released it publicly. After viewing it, the Ravens cut Rice and Goodell suspended him indefinitely.
"Ray Rice is not welcome in this league, but Erin Andrews and her ironing board are certainly welcome on the sidelines any time," said Goodell.