back to top

Baltimore Ravens Owner Claims Ray Rice Report Was "Manufactured"

Steve Bisciotti said Monday that the information in ESPN's report came from sources close to Ray Rice. The reporter fired back, saying the claim was "not true."

Posted on

Updated — Sept. 22, 6:00 p.m. ET

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

On Monday, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti held a news conference to address the ESPN report which he says was "manufactured" by sources close to Ray Rice. "The majority of the [ESPN] sources are people that work for Ray," Bisciotti said. "Almost everything in there is anonymous, but it's clear from the subject matter that it's Ray's attorney, it's Ray's agent, it's Ray's friends."

Bisciotti also posted a lengthy rebuttal to the report on BaltimoreRavens.com.

ESPN investigative reporter Don Van Natta Jr. told ESPN's Bob Ley that Bisciotti's claim that the majority of sources on their story were people that work for Ray Rice is "not true. Unfortunately, Mr. Bisciotti doesn't know the identity of our sources."

"We stand by our reporting," an ESPN spokesperson also said Monday.

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Nick Wass, AP

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Just hours after former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator, the team's head of security reportedly was given a detailed account of the incident by a police officer.

Darren Sanders, the Ravens' director of security, was given a "play-by-play" by an Atlantic City police officer of video recorded inside the Revel hotel and casino elevator where the February incident unfolded, unnamed sources told ESPN and CNN on Friday.

After learning of the attack, Sanders quickly shared what he was told with Ravens executives in Baltimore, ESPN said, though it was unclear who exactly was immediately made aware of the contents of the video.

"The Ravens also consulted frequently with Rice's Philadelphia defense attorney, Michael J. Diamondstein, who in early April had obtained a copy of the inside-elevator video and told Ravens President Dick Cass: 'It's f—-ing horrible,'" the report said.

ESPN said they interviewed more than 20 sources, including "team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives and associates, advisers ,and friends of Rice," for the report.

The reports contradict statements made by the team early on suggesting they were unaware of what exactly took place in the elevator between Rice and his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News Friday night, the Ravens said the ESPN report was inaccurate.

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

ESPN later responded to the Ravens statement, saying, "We stand by our reporting."

The news came just hours after National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference Friday afternoon to address the recent abuse scandals within the organization. Goodell apologized for the way the NFL handled abuse cases involving Rice and Adrian Peterson, among others.

"We have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong. That starts with me," Goodell said. "I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter."

"The same mistakes can never be repeated," Goodell said.

Ray Rice is seen dragging his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator moments after knocking her out in Atlantic City, New Jersey in February 2014.
TMZ, via AP

Ray Rice is seen dragging his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator moments after knocking her out in Atlantic City, New Jersey in February 2014.