NFL sends memo to team officials

NFL officials sent a letter Wednesday to team owners and presidents -- obtained by ESPN.com -- detailing the investigative process of Ray Rice's domestic violence case.

In the letter, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he would do better in the future.

"I also know that we will be judged on our actions going forward," Goodell wrote in the letter. "I am confident that those actions will demonstrate our commitment to address this issue seriously and effectively, and will reflect well on the NFL, all member clubs, and everyone who is a part of our league."

In the letter, the NFL explains that it never saw a copy of the videotape from inside the elevator that showed Rice punching then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the face, which was posted by TMZ on Monday. The league has received a great deal of criticism for not being more aggressive in trying to get the tape and to better understand the contents on it.

Several have called on Goodell to resign, most notably the National Organization for Women, which released a statement Wednesday saying the NFL has a violence against women problem.

The letter states that the league requested the tape from multiple authorities, including the New Jersey State Police, the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Police Department and the Atlantic County Solicitor's Office. All requests were denied. The league said it made the requests at the beginning of the legal process and after Rice's legal case concluded.

Rice was arrested Feb. 15 for aggravated assault. Four days later, TMZ.com posted a video that showed Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator. The league immediately initiated its investigation.

Rice was indicted by an Atlantic City grand jury for third-degree aggravated assault on March 27, but he was allowed into a pretrial diversionary program for first-time offenders.

The league tells owners that it didn't ask the Revel Casino for a copy of the tape.

The letter reads: "Again, our understanding of New Jersey law is that the casino is prohibited from turning over material to a third party during a law enforcement proceeding, and that doing so would have subjected individuals to prosecution for interference with a criminal investigation."