What's indisputable is that justice system did see this video before sentencing Ray Rice to... nothing. Rice entered into a pre-trial "diversion program." If he attends a year's worth of meetings and crap, the assault charge will be dropped.
If that seems like a light punishment, consider that it took a lot for the system to even get that far. Remember, after the February incident, both Rice and Palmer were arrested and charged with assault. Both of them. On the scene, evidently the police said "screw it, arrest them both, we can't tell if he hit her or if she assault his hand with her face."
Later, a grand jury dropped the charges against Palmer and upped the charges against Rice. They saw the video, it seems.
But prosecutors saw the video too, so when Rice agreed to the pre-trial program, prosecutors didn't have to accept. They could have, you know, prosecuted the guy who sucker-punched his girlfriend in the elevator.
Instead, Ray Rice is free. He's Roger Goodell's problem because the legal system gave him a slap on the wrist. Note: if a big strong running back who we know can throw a punch — I'm thinking Legarette Blount — hit Ray Rice in an elevator, that would be a stiffer punishment than what Ray Rice got from the system.
We can bitch about the NFL not taking domestic violence seriously. But our legal system doesn't take domestic violence seriously. Why isn't Ray Rice in jail? Because we don't automatically send people to jail for beating women.
As usual, the NFL is just an aggressive reflection of our society.