goodellRemember a long time ago (OK, a few months ago), when the NFL had former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III conduct an investigation into how it handled the Ray Rice situation?

Remember how Muller’s law firm has strong connections to the NFL, making many question whether this investigation would be truly “independent?”

Well, the report came out today — strange timing in the midst of the NFL playoffs, but hey at least it’s not another 4:45 p.m. Friday news dump. The report sought to answer these two questions:

  • Did the NFL possess or view the in-elevator video of Mr. Rice and Ms. Palmer from the Revel Casino before it was publicly released?
  • What information was obtained by, provided or available to the NFL during its investigation of the Rice incident.

The conclusions were, well, predictable.

We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown,” Mueller said in the summary. “We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014. We concluded there was substantial information about the incident – even without the in-elevator video – indicating the need for a more thorough investigation. The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the February 15 incident.”

So basically it was critical in a way that the NFL has already it was culpable: in not doing more with the information it had. But it denied what many people believe to be key truths: that someone with power in the NFL had seen the elevator video of Rice and that someone at the NFL confirmed getting the video.

In other words, it’s a pretty convenient conclusion that the NFL will hope supports its claims but that those who are skeptical will continue to question. Which is pretty much what was, sadly, to be expected all along.

If you want to read the full report, it’s right here.

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