BOSTON (CBS/AP) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is defending NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice incident.
The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely Monday and the Baltimore Ravens released him hours after surveillance video obtained by TMZ showed him punching and knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator back in February.
“I think anyone that witnessed that video yesterday has to be outraged and really disgusted to see someone associated with us (the NFL) doing something like that,” Kraft told CBS This Morning Tuesday.
“Anyone who’s a real man doesn’t hit a woman.”
The video released Monday shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Months ago, a TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed on Sept. 2.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell first suspended Rice for two games, which infuriated many people who thought the punishment was too light.
After the new video surfaced Monday, Goodell announced that, based on the new video evidence, Rice has been suspended indefinitely.
Related: CBS Baltimore Coverage Of Ray Rice
Some reports have claimed Goodell and league officials were aware of the full video months ago, but they only reacted strongly Monday because the swift public outage left them with no choice.
“It’s really unfortunate and I know our commissioner has taken some heat. I just want to say that I spoke with him yesterday when this came out, not knowing what was going to happen and knowing I was coming in here and he didn’t, he had no knowledge of this video,” Kraft told CBS.
“The way he’s handled this situation himself, coming out with the mea culpa in his statement a couple of weeks ago, or ten days ago, and setting a very clear policy how we conduct ourselves in the NFL, I thought was excellent.”
“Anyone who’s second guessing that doesn’t know him,” Kraft said.
The Patriots owner was asked by CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose if it was troubling that the NFL’s response was so slow.
“I don’t want to get into the role of law enforcement or things I don’t understand,” Kraft responded.
“It’s just, the good news is, people did the right thing when the visual… when you see that visually, it’s just such a turnoff and I hope a great lesson to people everywhere that this isn’t going to be tolerated.”
Anchor Gayle King asked Kraft what would “indefinitely” mean to him regarding Rice’s suspension.
“Well, I don’t think he’ll play another NFL game. I’ll be shocked if some team would pick him up, but that’s not my,” King then interrupted him, asking Kraft, “But you wouldn’t pick him up?”
“No,” he replied.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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