Breaking now, the Associated Press is reporting that the National Football League was sent a copy of the Ray Rice elevator video back in April. This refutes what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS News in an interview Tuesday during which he told Norah O’Donnell that no one from the league had seen the tape.

Goodell said: “No one in the NFL, to my knowledge, and I had been asked that same question and the answer to that is no. We were not granted that. We were told that was not something we would have access to.”

The AP reports a law enforcement official played a voicemail from an NFL female employee saying, “you’re right, it’s terrible.”

From the AP story, citing its source:

“The person said he sent a DVD copy of the security camera video to an NFL office and included his contact information. He asked the AP not to release the name of the NFL executive, for fear that the information would identify the law enforcement official as the source.”

Should this turn out to be true, then Commissioner Goodell has to answer how this came to be and if someone in his offices kept him from seeing the elevator video.

An NFL spokesman has issued a statement saying it was not aware of the existence of the tape:

“We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it.”

ESPNews, which was airing SportsCenter, was the first network to cover the story utilizing insider Chris Mortensen for analysis. SportsCenter was then sent to ESPN and ESPN2. Fox Sports 1 ran a scroll of the story during NASCAR Race Hub and NBCSN covered the story on its Pro Football Talk as co-hosts Paul Burmeister and Mike Florio discussed the ramifications of the latest developments.

While the NFL’s partners quickly scrambled to cover the AP story, NFL Network remained in NFL Fantasy Live, but started to run a scroll in the last quarter-hour of the program.

As the story continues to gain legs, we’ll see if Commissioner Goodell can remain in his position or if he or someone else in the league’s offices will have to take the fall. In the meantime, the more developments come out, the more this looks like a cover up by the NFL.

[Associated Press]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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