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Ravens rise above Ray Rice controversy with Steelers victory as ex-FBI director takes over video investigation

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Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens misses a touchdown pass in front of cornerback Cortez Allen #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium last night

Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens misses a touchdown pass in front of cornerback Cortez Allen #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium last night

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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (89) high fives fans after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (89) high fives fans after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

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Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) high fives fans after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) high fives fans after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

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Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens misses a touchdown pass in front of cornerback Cortez Allen #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium last night

A tough week ended on a high for Baltimore Ravens as they beat Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 with many fans coming out in support of their under-fire player.

The spotlight has been on the franchise as the fall-out from their releasing of controversial running back Ray Rice continues, but their football did the talking on Thursday.

Bernard Pierce stepped into Rice's shoes and went 96 yards on 22 carries, with Owen Daniels getting two touchdowns and Justin Tucker landing four field goals.

A number of Ravens fans brought banners to the game to support Ray Rice and his family.

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Baltimore Ravens fan shows her support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens fan shows her support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens fan shows her support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

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Baltimore Ravens fan shows his support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens fan shows his support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens fan shows his support for former player Ray Rice during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

 

Former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct an independent investigation into the NFL’s pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice situation, league Commissioner Roger Goodell announced.

The infamous video - which shocked even President Barack Obama and prompted outrage across the US - shows Super Bowl winner Ray Rice knocking his fiancee unconscious with a punch to the head. Yesterday the NFL finally admitted that it was investigating a report that five months ago a law enforcement official sent them a video of the February 15 incident.

Until now, the NFL has repeatedly denied that anyone in the league office saw the footage before it was released by website TMZ on Monday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday in a memo to owners that the league asked law enforcement for the video "on multiple occasions" and no tape was provided. An unidentified law enforcement official claimed that he sent an unsolicited DVD copy to the league's New York office in April. A 12-second voice message from an NFL office number on April 9 includes a female voice confirming the arrival of the disk and saying: "You're right. It's terrible."

The league "will look into" the story, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said yesterday. "We have no knowledge of this," McCarthy said. "We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public."

Mr Goodell faced calls to step down over his mishandling of the assault, while Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent him a letter raising questions about the response.

Rice's team, the Baltimore Ravens, terminated his contract shortly after the video of the incident was leaked. He has also being suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Here is the TMZ video:

Online Editors