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Ravens: 'Fans Need To Hear Our Side Of The Story'

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Ray Rice fallout continues as a new ESPN report challenges what both the Ravens and the NFL have told us about the controversy.

For the first time since the article was released, the Ravens organization is speaking out.

Rick Ritter has details.

The Ravens reiterated there are inaccuracies in the report and they want a chance to tell their side of the story.

What seems like a never-ending storm of criticism continues to roll through the Ravens organization.

"The ESPN piece has inaccuracies and we want to address it," said Kevin Byrne, Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations.

The ESPN report claims the Ravens were already aware of the elevator video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, and that Rice's attorney told team president Dick Cass the video was "horrible," yet the team did not ask to see a copy.

In an interview just last week, the team said it repeatedly attempted to obtain the video before that time from several sources, but was unsuccessful.

The ESPN investigation also claims head coach John Harbaugh wanted to cut Rice from the team soon after the player's arrest in February, but Ravens officials overruled him--something the team denies in the article.

ESPN's report has Ravens fans demanding answers.

"I'm hoping they're not true statements," said Chris Sallade.

Team officials are trying to weather the storm.

"We do believe that the fans and people of Baltimore do need to hear our side of the story, so there will be our side of the story," Byrne said.

For the first time since the report surfaced, WJZ hears from the organization. Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne admits it's clearly been an usual time for the franchise.

"We've been transparent. This is new territory for us. We're learning as we go," he said.

But the team won't go into more detail until after Sunday's game against the Browns.

"We only have 16 of these. We have to play football," said Byrne.

Even at day two of the Ray Rice jersey exchange, most fans say all of the talk is about ESPN's newest report and the allegations against the Ravens.

"I just couldn't believe they first heard about it and kind of kept it a secret," said Jonathon Fowler.

"I wish--if it is true--that they would've just come out early and said, 'Hey, we knew this,'" Sallade said.

But as controversy continues to swirl, fans say they aren't turning their backs on their beloved franchise.

"We trust what the Ravens did. We're not going to back-stab the Ravens. We're going to stick behind them," one fan said.

Byrne says he expects the team to address the report in more detail on Monday or Tuesday. As for the Ray Rice jersey exchange, officials say more than 7,000 people participated.

The Ravens did release a statement Friday night, saying:

"The 'Outside the Lines' article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings."

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