Roger Goodell denied seeing the Ray Rice assault video in an interview with CBS's Norah O'Donnell on Tuesday. The NFL commissioner spoke on the record for the first time since the video was leaked by TMZ on Monday.
"We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator," Goodell said. "We assumed that there was a video, we asked for video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity."
Ray and Janay Rice
Ray Rice speaks out for first time since release
The former Ravens running back expressed that he is staying strong for his family.
Ray and Janay Rice
Goodell admitted he mishandled the scenario, saying it was "my responsibility and I'm accountable for that." When pressed about the fact the NFL shouldn't have needed an additional graphic video to act on Rice knowing that he had knocked his then-fiancée unconscious, he agreed, saying the NFL "certainly didn't."
"What we saw on the first videotape was troubling to us in and of itself," Goodell said. "But what we saw yesterday was extremely clear, extremely graphic, and it was sickening. And that's why we took the action that we took yesterday."
Goodell wouldn't rule out that Rice would never return to the NFL.
"We would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue." Goodell said. "Clearly, he has paid a price for the actions that he has already taken."
The NFL commissioner has faced significant criticism in the last several months after Rice garnered only an initial two-week suspension for assaulting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer. On Monday, TMZ released a video that showed the actual events, which sparked even more criticism for not only Rice but the Baltimore Ravens and NFL as well.
The Ravens released Rice on Monday afternoon, and the NFL followed suit with an indefinite suspension. However, NFL analysts and fans have called for further action, such as ESPN's Keith Olbermann calling for the resignation of everyone involved, from team officials to Goodell himself.
More of the interview will air on CBS This Morning on Wednesday.