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Ray Rice assault video makes NFL's punishment look even weaker

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TMZ released video of Ray Rice knocking out his wife (then fiancée) inside an Atlantic City casino elevator on Feb. 15. It's an ugly reminder of just how terribly the NFL and the Ravens handled the incident.

Video of Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée at the time (now wife) Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City city hotel and casino emerged overnight Monday. A source sent TMZ security tape footage of the incident that landed the Baltimore Ravens running back a two-game suspension. The punishment from a tone deaf NFL was resoundingly criticized by everyone, everyone but the Ravens PR office and the room of league suits that sat with Rice and his wife when deciding on the punishment.

The first image of the attack to surface from the Feb. 15 incident was footage of Rice dragging Janay out of the elevator. Rice and Palmer were married about a month after the attack, the day before his indictment.

Back in July, Peter King confirmed the existence of this video and that the NFL and Ravens honchos had seen it during their meeting with Rice and his wife, but he couldn't speculate on the details of the tape because he hadn't seen it. That was after a full summer of positive spin from the NFL media, hinting that Janay Rice had some involvement in provoking the incident.

Here's ESPN's Chris Mortensen from May:

We saw the TMZ video of what happened outside-when he was dragging her out unconscious-but inside, I'm told from those who have seen the video, it wasn't pretty. In fact, she attacks him-we don't know the reason why-and he strikes her, strikes her hard. And her head-according to the sources I've spoken to-struck the rail inside the elevator and she was unconscious.

And here's Rice's lawyer going even harder with hypothetical situations in a May 24 radio appearance:

This is just a complete hypothetical. Let's assume for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that [Rice] entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case. And hypothetically we litigate 100 motions and the video comes out and the video shows-hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking-shows that Ray wasn't the first person that hit, and Ray was getting repeatedly hit but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder. Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty. Is that result somehow better? Is it better for the public? Is it better for the Ravens? Is it better for Ray? Is it better for Janay?

Now, we've seen the video from inside the elevator, and, unsurprisingly, it makes Rice, the NFL, the Ravens and lots of others involved in this look even worse. Remember that press conference when the Ravens made Janay Rice apologize too and Ray made all those dumb comments about getting knocked down and getting back up?

Ray Rice is definitely still an asshole, no matter how much the Ravens tried to scrub his image. This is a good reminder that Rice has plenty of help from lots of others in being an asshole.