The letter, signed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by ESPN, explains that the league concluded Rice's original two-game suspension for assaulting his now-wife, Janay Palmer, should be indefinite because video released by TMZ Sports on Monday showed Rice in the act of striking her in an Atlantic City hotel casino elevator.
"This video shows a starkly different sequence of events from what you and your representatives stated when we met on June 16," Goodell wrote, "and is important new information that warrants reconsideration of the discipline imposed on you in July.
"Based on this new information, I have concluded that the discipline imposed upon you in July was insufficient under all the circumstances and have determined instead to impose an indefinite suspension."
ESPN's "Outside The Lines," citing four sources, reported Thursday that, in that June meeting, Rice told Goodell that he punched Janay in the elevator. Tuesday, Goodell told CBS News that the video was "inconsistent" with what Rice had told him.
"Ray didn't lie to the commissioner," a source with knowledge of the meeting told "Outside the Lines." "He told the full truth to Goodell -- he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn't happen again." Another source with knowledge of Rice's discussion with the commissioner said: "There was no ambiguity about what happened [in the elevator]."
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told ESPN on Friday that the union is "considering all options" now that it has the letter. The union has three days to inform the league whether it intends to appeal.
Rice, who was arrested in the February incident, eventually was accepted into a pretrial intervention program May 20. He was suspended for two games by Goodell on July 24 for violating the personal conduct policy.
A massive outcry against the punishment ensured and prompted Goodell to seek out advice of domestic violence experts. On Aug. 28, he announced a sweeping new conduct policy in a letter to owners. The policy now dictates a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second, with the stipulation that a player can apply for reinstatement after a year.
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