Roger Goodell sends memo to NFL employees following release of Mueller report

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a memo to NFL employees Thursday afternoon following the release of former FBI director Robert Mueller III's investigative report into the pursuit and handling of evidence in former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence incident.

The Baltimore Sun has obtained a full copy of the memo:



To: All NFL Personnel

From: Commissioner Goodell

Date: January 8, 2015

Re: Report of Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

"As you know, last September we engaged former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct an independent investigation into the report that our office had received video of Ray Rice striking his then-fiancé inside an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel before it became public on September 8.

"Earlier today, Director Mueller issued his report, which is available at I encourage everyone to read the report at your convenience, but I want to highlight a few points.

"First, Director Mueller found no evidence that any video had been sent to anyone at the NFL; that anyone at the league office had seen video from inside the elevator before it became public; or that anyone at the league placed a call to acknowledge receiving a copy of any video. These findings confirm what I have always believed to be true. The report states:

"[D]espite extensive investigation, we have found no evidence that anyone at the League received or viewed the in-elevator video prior to its public release. Likewise, we have found no evidence of a woman at the League acknowledging receipt of that video in a voicemail message left on April 9, 2014."

"Beyond simply the absence of any evidence to support the notion that the video was viewed here before it became public, the investigation uncovered evidence contradicting the claim that anybody in our office had received or viewed the video before it became public. "To the contrary," the report states, "our document review uncovered evidence inconsistent with a conclusion that senior League officials had seen the in-elevator video, either during March or April or at any time prior to September 8."

"Second, the investigation conducted by Director Mueller was extremely thorough and detailed. As the report states, he and his team collected more than 3 million documents, including emails, texts, and documents retained on computers, interviewed more than 200 individuals, some on multiple occasions, and including every woman working in the league office on April 9 (the date on which the call acknowledging receipt of the video was supposedly placed), conducted forensic examinations of hundreds of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices, verified the recipient of telephone calls made from the league office on April 9, and analyzed mailroom records as part of the investigation. In Director Mueller's words: "We undertook exhaustive efforts to investigate allegations that the League had received the in-elevator video prior to September 2014 and that a woman at the League called the Associated Press source ("the AP source") on April 9 to acknowledge receipt of the video."

"Third, the report was entirely independent. Nobody in this office had any input into the report and nobody saw the report before today. The report is entirely the work of Director Mueller and his colleagues. As Director Mueller stated in the report:

"[T]his investigation was completely independent from the League. . . . [T]he League agreed not to conduct, direct, oversee, or otherwise manage or influence the investigation or its results. The League did not impose any limits on access to information, nor did it require or prohibit any specific investigative steps. In fact, I had the sole discretion to employ investigative resources, techniques, and processes appropriate to complete the investigation and the report."

The League did not impose a deadline for completion of the investigation or the issuance of this report. Instead, we were urged to be thorough and to take as much time as was needed to be complete.


"Fourth, and consistent with the independence of the investigation, Director Mueller and his staff have been unequivocal in expressing their appreciation for the cooperation and support that they have received from each of you. I am deeply grateful for the candid and complete responses from our staff, and for the time and effort put into responding to Director Mueller's requests."

"Fifth, Director Mueller has made a series of observations regarding our prior investigative process, and has included a number of recommendations regarding our investigatory procedures going forward. In particular, he has identified the limitations or our former policy of relying almost entirely on law enforcement agencies in personal conduct matters. We have similarly recognized the deficiencies of this kind of process and as the report notes, many of the concerns were addressed as part of our own revisions to the Personal Conduct Policy that were made last month. Along with members of the league's new Conduct Committee, I intend promptly to address the additional recommendations made in the report."

"Again, my thanks to each of you for your cooperation with Director Mueller, but more important, for your commitment to the game, for your resilience, and for your support. I could not be more proud of you or feel more honored to work with such an outstanding group of colleagues. While this investigation has now concluded, our focus on the underlying issues and our commitment to positive change remain as strong as ever. We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. I believe that the last six months have made us a stronger and better organization and look forward to working with all of you to make a difference in the years ahead."