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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 8th, 2014
06:03 PM ET

Analyst: New Ray Rice tape irrelevant, NFL knew about the violence back in February

(CNN) – He's an NFL star who was suspended for just two games and even called a "heck of a guy" by his coach after a violent confrontation with his wife in a casino elevator.

But now that video has surfaced showing exactly what went down in that elevator, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's NFL career may be over.

The Ravens sent out a tweet Monday that Rice's contract had been terminated. The NFL followed that up by tweeting that Rice had been suspended indefinitely.

This comes in the wake of public outrage following a disturbing video released by TMZ, showing what happened between Rice and his then-fiancée at an Atlantic City casino back in February.

Before now, only video of what happened after the altercation had been released.

But the video released today gives the full picture of the encounter, and it is sickening – Rice enters the elevator behind his fiancée, then once inside things get physical, and Rice knocks her to the ground with one powerful blow.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell insists he hadn't seen the video when he handed down Rice's punishment. In fact, he claims he only saw it today.

"The idea that the NFL didn't know or have any way to get this is ridiculous. They could have said to ray Rice and his lawyers, you better bring that tape, otherwise, we're not letting you back on the field," said CNN's Rachel Nichols, host of "Unguarded."

But the new video is irrelevant, says Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates.

"Because both Ray and his then-fiancée admitted to the police what happened in the elevator, meaning they knew the facts. It shouldn't have to be backed up by video evidence in order to indefinitely suspend the guy. They knew what happened," said Yates.

"It should not have taken the terrible optics that it was – in that horrifying video to force their hand," he said.

For more of our interview with CNN's Rachel Nichols, and the Washington Post's Clinton Yates, check out the video above.

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