Ravens Owner: 'Nobody's Losing Their Job Here'
Steve Bisciotti gives his team's version of the Ray Rice scandal
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 5:40 PM CDT
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti addresses the controversy surrounding former running back Ray Rice at an NFL football news conference, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Owings Mills, Md.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Now for the Baltimore Ravens' side of the story: Team owner Steve Bisciotti gave a press conference today criticizing an ESPN report on the team's handling of the Ray Rice scandal, DeadSpin reports. "Nobody's losing a job here," said Bisciotti. "I'm very confident about that." For one thing, Bisciotti said most of ESPN's anonymous sources are Rice allies who want him back on the field again. "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," he said. "I'm not mad at those guys for writing the article" but wished ESPN had named names. The team also released a point-by-point rebuttal of the article, which Deadspin and ESPN break down into highlights:

  • Based on Rice's account of the elevator assault, Bisciotti believed the player had "slapped [wife] Janay with an open hand" and she hit her head while falling.
  • GM Ozzie Newsome also said Rice downplayed the attack: "The video was much more violent than what I had pictured," he said.
  • Ravens director of security Darren Sanders denied ESPN's claim that he had received an account of the assault "within hours" of it happening. In fact he struggled to get a copy of the video and later heard a vague verbal account of the attack from a police officer.
  • Bisciotti took issue with ESPN's interpretation of a text exchange between him and Rice. In his texts, Bisciotti offered the player a job when he was done playing football: "I will help you make it a great life indeed," Bisciotti texted. "I give you my WORD." ESPN portrayed that as a reward for Rice sticking "to the story that he had misled team officials" about the assault. Bisciotti's version: He "felt awful about what had happened," believed Rice was "at heart, a good person," and "wanted to tell him I would be supportive of him."

But ESPN isn't budging: "We stand by our reporting," a spokesperson said. See their report here.