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Report: Ravens Execs Knew About Elevator Punch In February

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A new report challenges what both the Ravens and the NFL have told us about the Ray Rice controversy.

Sports director Mark Viviano has more on these breaking details on the Rice investigation.

An ESPN investigative report cites multiple league sources who provide details that call into question how the Ravens and the NFL handled the Ray Rice case. Late Friday night, the Ravens issued a statement disputing the article, saying it contains inaccuracies and errors.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called a press conference to address the storm of criticism and negative publicity that has hit the league as a result of numerous player arrests—namely those involving domestic violence and the case of Ravens running back Ray Rice.

"I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter, and I'm sorry for that. I got it wrong on a number of levels, from the process that I led to the decision that I reached," Goodell said.

That decision was a two-game suspension handed down after the commissioner interviewed Rice. That punishment changed when surveillance video from inside a casino elevator showed Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer.

Release of that video led the Ravens to terminate Rice's contract—the team stating that seeing the violent video changed everything.

Related Story: Ravens Fans Wait In Line For More Than An Hour To Exchange Ray Rice Jerseys

The ESPN report claims the Ravens were already aware of the elevator video and that Rice's attorney told team president Dick Cass that 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.

WJZ asked the Ravens for a response to the article and in a statement the team says:

"The 'Outside the Lines' article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings. The Ravens will address all of these next week in Baltimore after our trip to Cleveland for Sunday's game against the Browns."

Stay with WJZ and for the latest on this developing story.

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