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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees irate at Rays after Derek Jeter gets hit again

09.17.14 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Diamondbacks, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals, at Braves, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Prior to Tuesday night game in St. Petersburg, Fla., the Rays honored Derek Jeter on the Yankees captain’s final trip to Tropicana Field. However, things deteriorated a few hours later.

Joe Girardi was not pleased after Derek Jeter was hit by an inside pitch from the Rays. (Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was not pleased after Derek Jeter was hit by an inside pitch from the Rays. (Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

In Jeter’s final at-bat, he was hit on the hands by an eighth-inning pitch from reliever Steven Geltz. The Yankees retaliated in the bottom of the inning, as David Phelps threw a brushback pitch at Kevin Kiermaier, leading to the benches emptying.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected after arguing with the umpire and then yelling at Geltz after Jeter’s HBP, voiced his frustration with the Yankees being hit five times in the past four games against Tampa Bay (with no Rays being hit during that time). Jeter was the victim twice, while Chase Headley missed four games after taking a ball off the chin.

“I don’€™t know what they expect; you hit five of our guys in four games, you don’€™t think we’€™ll be pissed?” Girardi said. “I’€™m tired of my guys getting hit and where they’€™re getting hit. I’€™m tired of it. If you’€™re going to pitch inside, learn how to pitch inside.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he understood the Yankees’ point of view.

“I really don’€™t blame the Yankees for being upset right there,” Maddon said. “We’€™ve hit a couple of their guys — obviously none of it intentional. It’€™s called baseball. It happens once in a while.”

MASHUP POLL: With Derek Jeter in an 0-for-26 slump and the Yankees still in the playoff hunt, should the team bench the retiring legend?

  • No, he's earned the right to be in the lineup for the final two weeks of his career (57%, 243 Votes)
  • Yes, the focus has to be on making the playoffs, and he is hurting the team's chances (43%, 187 Votes)

Total Voters: 430

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Jeter’s slump continues, as the shortstop — who was benched Monday — is without a hit in his last 26 at-bats after his 0-for-2 effort Tuesday. He was down 0-2 in the count when he was hit, and the fading Yankees lost the game 6-1. New York is 1-5 on this road trip, scoring just seven runs in the six games.

Said Phelps: “I think our team as a whole is frustrated about a whole lot of stuff right now.”

– Hours after singer Rihanna blasted CBS for pulling her music video last week in the wake of the Ray Rice incident, the network announced that it would no longer include her as part of its intro.

Rihanna, who was the victim in a domestic incident involving singer Chris Brown in 2009, had recorded a special version of the song “Run This Town” for the network. CBS did not use the video last week, instead spending more time discussing the Rice situation.

Rihanna took that as an insult, and she lashed out at the network via Twitter, writing: CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, [expletive] you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.

CBS senior vice president of communications Jen Sabatelle released a statement shortly thereafter, reading: “Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our ‘Thursday Night Football’ open. We will be using our newly created ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme music to open our game broadcast.”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Joe Girardi, Josh Gordon, Rihanna

Anheuser-Busch criticizes NFL, Nike reportedly pulls Adrian Peterson merchandise from shelves

09.16.14 at 4:09 pm ET
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More and more sponsors are joining the chorus of criticism against the NFL for its handling of recent incidents involving off-the-field violence, most notably the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations. On Tuesday, two big names got involved.

Anheuser-Busch released a statement critical of the league, although they did not say they were considering dropping their advertising with the league.

“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” the statement said, according to Darren Rovell. “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”

Nike also took a stand, as they removed all Adrian Peterson merchandise from their Twin Cities stories, according to Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski.

On Monday, the Radisson hotel chain suspended its sponsorship of the Vikings after the team decided to reinstate Peterson despite the child abuse charges against him. Earlier on Tuesday, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton released a statement saying the Vikings should suspend Peterson until his case is resolved.

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jonathan Papelbon apologizes but still denies intent after being suspended

09.16.14 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Reds at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Minor League Baseball: Triple-A championship, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal at Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: CONCACAF Champions, Olimpia at Portland, 10 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended seven games for his behavior Sunday, when he grabbed his crotch as he walked off the field, apparently in response to booing home fans who were upset that he blew a three-run ninth-inning lead.

Papelbon was ejected from the game and proceeded to argue with umpire Joe West, insisting that he was only adjusting his cup and was not responding to the crowd. He maintained his innocence Monday, while apologizing to those who might have misunderstood his actions.

“While I completely understand how the fans would perceive my gesture while being booed, it was not my intent whatsoever to insult the fans of Philadelphia,” the former Red Sox star said in a statement. “If it was perceived in that manner, I sincerely apologize.”

The team, however, appeared to agree with MLB, while implying it had no authority to punish the pitcher itself.

“The Phillies fully support the decision of the Commissioner’s Office, which has exclusive jurisdiction for on-field player behavior,” the team said in a statement. “By Major League Baseball rules, the Phillies have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct. We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday.”

MASHUP POLL: Do you believe Jonathan Papelbon that he was not responding to booing fans in Philadelphia when he grabbed his crotch?

  • No, he's clearly not telling the truth and deserves his suspension (84%, 383 Votes)
  • Yes, Papelbon deserves the benefit of the doubt (16%, 73 Votes)

Total Voters: 456

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The outspoken Papelbon, who had overcome some early season struggles, had converted 14 consecutive save opportunities since July 22 before blowing Sunday’s game and taking the loss.

Derek Jeter is going out not with a bang but with a whimper in New York, and it’s gotten so bad that the Yankees benched their captain for Monday’s game.

Jeter entered the night without a hit in his last eight games (0-for-24), reaching base just once during that span, via a walk. He is hitting .116 in September (5-for-43) after hitting .207 in August. His season batting average has dipped 10 points to .250, and he has just three home runs.

“He’€™s just scuffling; he had somewhat of a tough August, and September has been even tougher,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “There are a few guys that are going through that. It’€™s not the time of year that you want it to happen. We’€™ll give him a day off today, see if we can get him out of it and get him going.”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Jonathan Papelbon,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Charles Barkley defends Adrian Peterson for whipping child

09.15.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Eagles at Colts, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Nationals at Braves, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, women, Canada at United States, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Premier League, West Ham at Hull City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Charles Barkley, never one to be concerned about being politically correct about his opinions, shared his thoughts on the two major NFL controversies of the last week during an appearance on CBS’ “NFL Today” pregame show, and he defended Adrian Peterson for whipping his child with a tree branch.

Responding to criticism of Peterson from the show’s other hosts, Barkley said that as a child in Alabama he was beaten with branches (also called switches) that left welts on his legs, and it’s something that Southern African Americans do to discipline their children.

“I’m from the South,” Barkley said. “Whipping is — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”

Added Barkley: “I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That’s a very fine line.”

MASHUP POLL: Does Charles Barkley have a valid point about a cultural misunderstanding regarding the Adrian Peterson situation?

  • No, it's flat-out wrong and they should understand it needs to stop immediately (49%, 199 Votes)
  • Maybe, it might be part of the culture but they should understand that the rest of the country does not approve (35%, 141 Votes)
  • Yes, it's ingrained in the culture in the South and we are wrong to judge (16%, 68 Votes)

Total Voters: 408

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Peterson apparently was paying attention to the criticism he’s been receiving, as he tweeted out a picture of a page from the bible, including a highlighted line reading: “Give your mind a break from its habitual judging.”

As for the Ray Rice situation, Barkley made it clear that he is staunchly opposed to men striking women, but he is not prepared to banish Rice for life.

“Ray Rice made a tragic mistake, and he has to live with that,” Barkley said. “But I do hope some owner has the courage — it’s going to take tremendous courage — to give Ray Rice another chance.”

– Rice, suspended indefinitely by the NFL after video emerged last week of him punching and knocking out his now-wife, is set to appeal his suspension, according to ProFootballTalk.com and other media outlets.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the players association was still finalizing its plan on how to approach the appeal, which is expected to be filed Monday.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Charles Barkley, Ray Rice, Rex Ryan

Orioles’ Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamines

09.12.14 at 12:05 pm ET
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The Orioles are a near-lock to win the American League East, but they’ll start the playoffs without slugger Chris Davis, who was suspended 25 games by the league for using amphetamines.

MLB announced the suspension Friday morning, saying Davis was suspended without pay “after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball‘s joint drug prevention and treatment program.”

Davis, who is batting just .196 but has 26 home runs and 72 RBIs, released a statement through the players association.

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans,” he said. “I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.”

The Orioles have 17 regular-season games remaining, so he would have to sit the first eight games of the postseason.

Read More: Chris Davis,

Greg Hardy returns to Panthers practice amid domestic violence charges

09.12.14 at 10:17 am ET
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Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

During a week in which former Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended by the NFL indefinitely for punching his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator in February, Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy returned to practice Thursday, a day after he met with his lawyer about an offseason domestic issue.

In May, Hardy was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The Pro Bowler was convicted on two domestic violence charges in mid-July but immediately appealed the decision. When he was arrested, the police officer filling out the report noted that Hardy grabbed and threw the woman around.

Two months before the domestic violence incident, Hardy signed a one-year franchise tag deal for $13.1 million.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera only talked about Hardy’s practice performance, and would not comment on his legal problems.

“I couldn’t tell you that,” Rivera said of the potential pressure Hardy is facing. “The only thing I can tell is he practiced very well.”

Carolina expects Hardy to play in the team’s home opener Sunday against the Lions. Neither the league nor the Panthers have suspended Hardy, and a decision most likely will not be made until the legal process comes to an end.

Read More: Greg Hardy,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide; Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton takes pitch to face

09.12.14 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at Tigers, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College football: Toledo at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Baylor at Buffalo, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, France vs. Serbia, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA finals: Mercury at Sky, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at Sounders, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Davis Cup, United States vs. Slovakia, 5 p.m. (Tennis Channel)

AROUND THE WEB:

– On Day 2 of the verdict portion of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial, a judge in South Africa ruled Friday that the former Olympian was guilty of culpable homicide for being negligent in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

A day earlier, Pistorius was found not guilty of murder as Judge Thokozile Masipa said there was not enough evidence to conclude that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp in February 2013. Pistorius claimed he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door in the middle of the night, while the prosecution said the model was killed after the couple had an argument.

Pistorius, who had been emotional throughout the trial — breaking down in tears upon hearing Thursday’s announcement — showed no emotion Friday as he stood and listened to the judge. Masipa on Friday said it was a unanimous verdict following consultation with two legal assessors.

Pistorius could be sentenced to anywhere from a suspended sentence to a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. He left the courtroom and was taken into custody, as his bail expired after the conviction. The judge was considering whether to re-grant bail.

MASHUP POLL: What sentence will Oscar Pistorius receive for culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend?

  • 10 or more years (44%, 84 Votes)
  • 4-9 years (24%, 46 Votes)
  • 1-3 years (18%, 34 Votes)
  • Suspended sentence (no jail time) (8%, 16 Votes)
  • Less than a year (6%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

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The prosecution expressed disappointment with the ruling but said it will wait until the sentencing to decide whether to appeal.

“We believe there is sufficient and credible evidence to secure a conviction [on a murder charge],” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Mncube said.

– Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton, the favorite to win National League MVP award, likely will miss the rest of the season after being hit in the face by a fastball from Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers during Thursday night’s game.

Stanton, who left the field in an ambulance, suffered multiple facial fractures, dental damage and lacerations that required stitches.

“It’s devastating for us. Devastating. For his season to end like that, I mean, that’s not good,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said, adding: “It was very scary. We’re hoping he is going to be all right.”

Stanton, who leads the NL with 37 home runs and 105 RBIs, was called for strike on the pitch, as the umpire claimed he swung at the ball while trying to get out of the way. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson came on to replace Stanton and got hit on the hand by the next pitch — and he, too, was ruled to have swung at the ball, ending the at-bat with a strikeout.

The benches then cleared, and Redmond was ejected along with Miami infielder Casey McGehee.

“I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve definitely never seen two swings called on those two plays,” Redmond said. “I’ve never seen a guy get hit in the mouth and called for a swing. He’s out there bleeding at home plate, and for the first base ump to say he swung at that pitch, what a joke.”

– Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said Thursday that the investigation into the death of the driver who was struck by NASCAR star Tony Stewart has been completed and submitted to the district attorney’s office for review.

“The District Attorney’s Office, which has been meeting throughout the investigative process with members of the Sheriff’s Office, will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation,” a statement read.

Stewart was driving in a sprint car race when he caused Kevin Ward Jr. to crash and then, when Ward left his vehicle to confront Stewart, slammed into Ward and killed the 20-year-old.

Povero earlier said that he did not find anything to indicate criminal intent in the crash, although Stewart still could face charges for reckless or negligent behavior resulting in death.

Stewart, who called the death a tragic accident, returned to racing last weekend after a three-week hiatus.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 12, 2005, David Ortiz hit his 40th home run of the season, a solo shot in the 11th inning to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. With that clout, he became just the second Red Sox player to have back-to-back 40-home run seasons. Who was the first?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I wouldn’€™t say that we have limitless money, but we’€™ve got a lot of money to spend and we’€™re determined to go into the free agent market and improve the team.” – Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, during a Thursday appearance with Dennis & Callahan, on the team’s goals for the offseason

STAT OF THE DAY: 14-for-19 — The United States team’s shooting in the third quarter of Thursday’s 96-68 rout of Lithuania in the semifinals of the Basketball World Cup

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Chris Young hits a three-run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to give the Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Rays.

Reds right fielder Jay Bruce leaps over the fence to take a home run away from Brewers batter Matt Adams.

Giants batter Hunter Pence throws his bat at the ball and hits a grounder up the middle that bounces off second base and eludes the Diamondbacks infielders for a run-scoring hit.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Carl Yastrzemski, 1969-70

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Barry White, who died in 2003, was born on this day in 1944.

Read More: Giancarlo Stanton, Kevin Ward Jr., Oscar Pistorius, Tony Stewart

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius not guilty of premeditated murder

09.11.14 at 7:36 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Steelers at Ravens, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Louisiana Tech at North Texas, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Houston at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, United States vs, Lithuania, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A South African judge ruled Thursday that Oscar Pistorius did not intentionally kill his girlfriend when he shot her in their home last year, but the former Olympic hero still could be convicted of culpable homicide.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is deciding Pistorius’ fate along with two other judges, began the verdict portion of the trial Thursday morning as a tense Pistorius sat listening. Pistorius broke down and started crying when Masipa said he was not guilty of premeditated murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

The verdict portion could last for hours or even days as the judge explains her analysis of the evidence and testimony.

MASHUP POLL: Should Oscar Pistorius have been convicted of murder?

  • Yes, there's no way he would have shot her repeatedly by accident (85%, 212 Votes)
  • No, there's too much doubt in this case (15%, 38 Votes)

Total Voters: 250

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Masipa called Pistorius a “very poor witness” during the trial, noting that he avoided answering some of the prosecution’s questions, but said that it does not mean he is guilty. Pistorius claimed he thought Steenkamp was a burglar when he shot her repeatedly through the bathroom door in the middle of the night.

The trial has lasted five months, including a one-month break so that Pistorius could be examined by mental health specialists.

Pistorius, who uses prosthetic legs, participated in the 2012 London Olympics, inspiring people worldwide.

– Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was granted a leave of absence from the team to consider his future in football. Abraham, in his 15th NFL season, suffered a concussion in Monday’s win over the Chargers, but coach Bruce Arians said that was not the main reason Abraham was considering retiring.

Abraham, who missed most of training camp because he was receiving treatment for an alcohol problem following a DUI arrest in Atlanta, has five days to mull things over before he must be either reinstated or ruled out for the rest of the season.

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Read More: Bruce Arians, Jeff Wilpon, John Abraham, Oscar Pistorius

Sabres owners buy Bills for NFL-record $1.4 billion

09.10.14 at 2:53 pm ET
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The Bills reached a “definitive agreement” Tuesday to sell the team to the owners of the NHL‘s Sabres.

The Pegulas, who already have substantial clout in the Buffalo area, bid an NFL-record $1.4 billion to buy Bills from late owner Ralph Wilson‘s estate, much higher then the team’s estimated $935 million value. The previous high came when Stephen Ross bought the Dolphins for $1.1 million in 2009. The Bills’ new owners plan to keep the team in Buffalo.

“It is gratifying to reassure these great fans that the two franchises, so important to our region are here to stay,” Terry Pegula said in a statement released by the Sabres. “Ralph Wilson left an indelible mark on our community and we will strive every day to honor his legacy.”

Other prospective owners included groups headed by rock star Jon Bon Jovi and one led by Donald Trump. Some feared that the Bills would move to Canada if Bon Jovi took control of the franchise. Mary Wilson, the team’s controlling owner, said her late husband would have been happy with the Pegulas’ decision to keep the team in Buffalo.

“Ralph would have been pleased with the sale of the team to the Terry Pegula family, who have been so committed to Buffalo and the western New York region,”Wilson said. “He loved his team and he cherished the fans, and his legacy will remain for all time.”

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Jon Bon Jovi, Ralph Wilson, Terry Pegula

Roger Goodell continues to deny seeing Ray Rice videotape

09.10.14 at 9:55 am ET
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The sports world is still reacting to the shocking Ray Rice video and the player’s subsequent release from the Ravens.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed in a CBS interview Tuesday he had not seen the video of Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer inside an elevator in Atlantic City. Goodell and the league had only suspended Rice for two games before the second video was released.

“We had not seen any video tape of what occurred in the elevator,” Goodell said in the interview. “We assumed that there was a video, we asked for the video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity.” 

The Ravens and coach Jim Harbaugh initially supported Rice after the incident occurred in February. In July, Harbaugh said he would “stand behind” Rice and was “proud” of how the running back handled the situation. After the TMZ video was released this week, though, Harbaugh said his feelings on the matter were swayed in the other direction.

“[The video] is something we saw for the first time today. All of us,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”

Jets backup quarterback Mike Vick, who spent more than a year in jail for organizing a dog-fighting ring, said Rice’s actions have no place in the game.

“It’€™s very sensitive,” Vick said. “I think we all got to realize as professional athletes that we are professionals. And we have to be able to maintain our poise in all situations, on and off the field. There’€™s just no room for that.”

While most have disapproved of Rice’s actions, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said he thinks the NFL overreacted. Mayweather, who previously pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and spent two months in jail in 2012, said there are other things people do that aren’t seen by the cameras.

“I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also,” Mayweather said. “It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say.”

Read More: Floyd Mayweather, Jim Harbaugh, Mike Vick, Ray Rice