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Janay Rice Says Roger Goodell Lied; Commish’s Power Could Be Stripped

Janay Rice, accompanied by her mother, Candy Palmer, said her husband, former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, told NFL Roger Goodell when the couple visited the commissioner the exact details of their incident in an Atlantic City elevator that led to Rice’s suspension.

Goodell came under fire—and could have his punishment authority stripped—for suspending Rice two games in the summer, and changing it to an indefinite suspension after TMZ released a tape of Rice punching his then-fiancee. Goodell had his decision overturned by a judge last week.

“I know for a fact. . . that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February,” Janay said in her interview shown Monday.

Goodell had said Rice was “ambiguous” in sharing details. Janay Rice said, “I can’t say he’s telling the truth.”

The decision by the judge, who called an indefinite suspension of Rice “arbitrary,” was a direct slap at Goodell, who has been criticized over the years for handing out harsh penalties for discipline issues. The Washington Post reported Monday that the league has told the NFLPA in a letter that it possibly would allow somebody other than Goodell to mete out disciplinary consequences.

The Post obtained NFL counsel Jeff Pash’s letter to the union:  “We are prepared, as we have previously advised, to discuss modifying Article 46 [of the sport’s collective bargaining agreement] to provide that the initial disciplinary decision would be made by someone other than the Commissioner or his designee. We would be prepared to consult with the NFLPA on the identity of such a disciplinary officer. Any appeal would continue to be to the Commissioner or his designee, as currently provided for in Article 46.”

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