NFL to look into its han­dling of Rice case

The Covington News - - WORLD -

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL called in a for­mer FBI di­rec­tor to ex­am­ine how it pur­sued and han­dled ev­i­dence in the Ray Rice do­mes­tic vi­o­lence case as pres­sure in­creased for the league to be more trans­par­ent about its orig­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The move late Wed­nes­day came hours after The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported that a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer said he sent an NFL ex­ec­u­tive a video in April that showed Rice strik­ing his then-fi­ancee at a casino. Good­ell has main­tained that no one in the NFL saw the video un­til it was re­leased by TMZ Sports Mon­day.

Women’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, mem­bers of Congress and play­ers have called for more de­tail about the NFL’s han- dling of the Rice case. The crit­i­cism in­ten­si­fied after the law en­force­ment of­fi­cial’s ac­count.

Good­ell turned to Robert S. Mueller III, who was the di­rec­tor of the FBI for 12 years, to lead the in­quiry. The probe will be over­seen by own­ers John Mara of the New York Gi­ants and Art Rooney of the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers, two of Good­ell’s strong­est sup­port­ers. Both are mem­bers of key NFL com­mit­tees and have closely ad­vised Good­ell through­out his ten­ure.

The NFL called the probe in­de­pen­dent, and did not dis­cuss how the own­ers will work with Mueller. But there could be an ap­pear­ance of con­flict: Mara has al­ready in­di­cated he doesn’t think Good­ell’s job should be in jeop­ardy.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that the league and the Ravens made re­peated re­quests to ob­tain the video of the Ray Rice in­ci­dent and were de­nied each time,” Mara said a few hours be­fore the AP story broke. “The no­tion that the league should have gone around law en­force­ment to ob­tain the video is, in my opin­ion, mis­guided, as is the no­tion that the com­mis­sioner’s job is now in jeop­ardy.”

The law firm where Mueller is now a part­ner, Wilmer­Hale, has con­nec­tions to the NFL. The firm has rep­re­sented Wash­ing­ton Red­skins owner Daniel Sny­der, and sev­eral for­mer mem­bers of the firm have taken po­si­tions with NFL teams.

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