Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Throwing Rice under the bus

ESPN: Owner Pins Report on Ray Rice Camp (Significant Amount Of Info "Manufactured")

Baltimore Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti / AP
ESPN.com News Service, Sept. 22, 2014, Espn.go.com

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti responded Monday to an ESPN investigative report into the team's handling of Ray Rice's domestic abuse case, saying that a significant amount of the information in the story was "manufactured" from accounts provided by the running back's inner circle.

Bisciotti addressed the ESPN "Outside the Lines" report during a 45-minute news conference, saying he believes that Rice's camp is attempting to "build a case for reinstatement."

AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyRavens owner Steve Bisciotti was critical of a report by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" regarding the team's handling of the Ray Rice case.

"The majority of the sources [from the report] 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.

"I'm not mad at those guys for writing the article," Bisciotti also said. He added he wished that ESPN had said who it interviewed for the story, claiming it was mostly people who were sympathetic to Rice's potential reinstatement.

ESPN OTL reporter Don Van Natta, appearing on the network after Bisciotti's news conference, said that "Outside the Lines" interviewed more than 20 sources over 11 days -- team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives and associates, advisers and friends of Rice.

"Unfortunately, it's an assumption [Bisciotti] is making. ... It's an oversimplification of the work we put into this story," Van Natta said.

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

"Outside the Lines" reported Friday that Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome tried to persuade NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be lenient with Rice following the former Raven's February arrest.

The Ravens released Rice on Sept. 8 after TMZ Sports released a video of the running back hitting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City hotel casino elevator, knocking her unconscious. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely shortly after he was released by the team.

Read the full story:  www.espn.go.com

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