A source within the Baltimore Ravens organization tells CNN that a Ravens official knew that former running back Ray Rice knocked out his now-wife and knew there was video evidence of it just hours after the incident occurred.
This latest information comes as embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence Friday to address the domestic abuse cases that have consumed his league over the past 10 days.
Speaking at a Manhattan news conference amid calls for his resignation, Goodell announced a sweeping policy to counter domestic abuse and sexual assault, mandating all players and staff on the league's 32 teams undergo education and training about how to prevent abuse.
All the uproar, started with the elevator surveillance video of Rice abusing his now-wife. A crime that initially cost rice just two games. Goodell apologized for failing his fans.
"I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter and I'm sorry for that," Goodell said. "I'm not satisfied with the way we handled it from the get-go. I made a mistake. I'm not satisfied with the process we went through. I'm not satisfied with the conclusion."
CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.
Where is Roger Goodell?
That is what many are wondering as criticism grows over the NFL's handling of domestic assault cases. It's been nine days since the NFL commissioner spoke to CBS News about the Ray Rice incident. Since he last spoke publicly, endorsement deals have been pulled and at least five players have been benched.
Goodell has remained silent even as we learn of new and disturbing allegations of abuse at the hands of NFL players.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.
The National Players Association says it has filed an appeal of Ray Rice's indefinite suspension by the NFL.
NFLPA Statement below:
Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.
The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.
- NFL Players Association
The president of the association told CNN's Erin Burnett that the organization has an obligation to defend its members. He was clear that Rice has been disciplined multiple times by the NFL commissioner and should be able to play again.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is OutFront with more on why the Association feels it has a case against the league and its commissioner Roger Goodell.
Research firm IEG estimates the NFL brings in more than a billion dollars a year in sponsorship money alone. Despite the league's scandals, no major sponsor has dropped its support, but some are coming under fire.
CoverGirl is one of them. It is the "official beauty sponsor" of the NFL. Some critics are so upset with the NFL and Cover Girl, they are posting a photoshopped version online of the magazine's Baltimore Ravens "makeup look." The meme shows the model with a black eye.
CoverGirl has recently taken down its "NFL Game Face" website.
Below is a response from CoverGirl's parent company, Procter and Gamble:
As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence. – Laura Brinker, P&G Spokesperson
The video showing Ray Rice punch his now-wife Janay has sparked a pivotal moment for domestic violence in America. Janay Rice is one of 12 million victims of domestic abuse in this country every year.
While that video is horrifying to many, it is also giving abuse victims around the country the courage to come forward. According to the National Domestic Abuse hotline, the number of calls from abuse victims has spiked 84 percent.
"A lot of people probably said, I don't want be that," Brian Pinero of the National Domestic Violence hotline said. "I don't want to wind up in that situation."
The Women's Transitional Living Center, a shelter for domestic abuse victims in Orange County, California is just one center seeing an upswing in contact.
"So that first phone call no matter what your experiencing is the most difficult one," Gigi Tsantos, director of the Women's Transitional Living Center said.
For domestic abuse victim Karine Zarate the Rice video was a terrible reminder of what she says she's been trying to forget for years.
"One of the first times was in an elevator. So when I saw that video of Ray Rice hitting his then fiance it just brought back all those memories," Zarate said.
"I don't know why when that door closed, my boyfriend at the time my ex husband thought that he could just push me against the wall and punch me in the face repeatedly," Zarate said. "Thank goodness I didn't go unconscious. It was just an absolute shock. This did not just happen to me."
At the time she did not file a police report, Instead of letting the Rice video send her back to a very dark place, the video prompted her to share her own story on Facebook for the first time, hoping would somehow help others.
"It was the easiest way for me to say what I have to say and like it or not if it helps on to ten to 100 women out there or more and that's why I put it out there."
Like Janay Rice, Zarate went on to marry her then boyfriend, even having three children with him. She says the abuse subsided, but then returned with a vengeance.
Zarate says she stayed until the day she came to find her husband's hand print on her child's face. However police never charged him for child abuse.
"When I came home I saw a mark on my daughter's face. I immediate asked, I said what happened? And he said she wouldn't stop screaming and that was the moment I grabbed my camera and I took a picture that will always haunt me," Zarate said.
That day she says social media came to her rescue as her husband attacked her trying to get her phone. She managed to send out a tweet for help.
"The tweet that I sent out was help he's hitting me again and that's all I said. And one of my girlfriends came to my house," Zarate said.
Police arrived, Zarate filed a report and obtained a restraining order. After 8-months Zarate agreed to lift the restraining order because her husband completed his court order counseling.
The state dropped the criminal battery charge and he pled guilty to a much lesser charge of disturbing the peace. Zarate filed for divorce and is now living happily with her children. Her husband has visitation rights.
Zarate says she knows how hard it is to make that first call for help and she hopes that the Rice domestic abuse video will help other victims come forward and stop the abuse.