OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23:  Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens pauses while addressing a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ray Rice: I'm holding strong for my wife
01:12 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Ray Rice has called the February punch that knocked out his now-wife “inexcusable.”

But it wasn’t until seven months later, when the celebrity gossip website TMZ posted an online video, that people saw exactly how ferocious the blow was.

It cost Rice his job and his paycheck — but not his wife.

Here is a timeline of key events in the story.

February 15: Ray Rice and his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, are involved in an early-morning fight on an elevator in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino. Atlantic City police say Rice and Palmer struck each other with their hands and refused medical treatment at the scene.

They are arrested and taken to the Atlantic City Police Department holding facility. Each is charged with simple assault.

February 19: TMZ releases video of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator in which the incident occurred.

February 21: Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh speaks at the NFL combine about Rice’s arrest: “There are a lot of facts and a process that has to be worked through in anything like this. There are a lot of question marks. But Ray’s character, you guys know his character. So you start with that.”

March 5: Harbaugh tells reporters that Rice and Palmer will be attending a couples’ seminar. He further defends Rice: “Ray has told me his side of it, and everything we’ve seen so far is very consistent with what he said.”

March 27: Rice is indicted by an Atlantic County grand jury on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. The charge against Palmer is dropped. The Ravens issue a statement: “This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”

March 28: Rice and Palmer marry.

May 1: Rice pleads not guilty to aggravated assault and applies for a program for first-time offenders that could clear him of charges in one year.

May 20: Rice is accepted into the diversionary program.

May 23: The Ravens hold a news conference with Rice and Palmer. Rice apologizes for “the situation my wife and I were in.” The Ravens live-tweet the event, including one that reads, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” That tweet has since been deleted.

June 16: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell meets with Rice and Palmer at league headquarters in New York.

July 24: The NFL announces a two-game suspension for Rice, starting August 30. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome calls the punishment “significant” but “fair.”

July 28: Rice receives a standing ovation from fans at a Ravens training camp practice.

July 31: Rice tells reporters at a Ravens news conference that the violent incident is not representative of who he is. “You know that’s not me,” he says. “You know that’s something I have to live … with the rest of my life.” Rice calls his actions “inexcusable.”

August 1: Goodell addresses the media for the first time after Rice’s suspension while in Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. He defends his decision: “I take into account all of the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be. In this case, there was no discipline by the criminal justice system. They put him in that diversionary program.”

August 28: Amid criticism for Rice’s punishment, the NFL announces a new, harsher policy for domestic violence and other violent conduct. The penalty for a first offense is a six-game ban under the personal conduct policy, with longer bans for extenuating circumstances. League employees, including players, who commit a second offense will be banned for life. In a letter, Goodell admits that he got the Rice punishment wrong, without mentioning him by name. “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

September 8: TMZ releases surveillance footage from inside the elevator showing Rice punching Palmer. Hours later, the Ravens terminate Rice’s contract and Goodell announces Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL. The leagues claims it had not seen the video from the elevator’s interior until Monday. Coach Harbaugh speaks to reporters: “It’s something we saw for the first time today, well all of us. It changed things, of course. And it made things a little bit different.”

“We had a meeting. It was not a long meeting. We came to the decision that we came to release Ray, and that’s what we did. I had a chance to talk to Ray, along with Ozzie (Newsome) this afternoon, after we did it.

“I have nothing but hope and goodwill for Ray and Janay. And we’ll do whatever we can going forward to help them as they go forward and try to make the best of it.”

September 9: Janay Rice apparently posts a statement on Instagram, talking about the “horrible nightmare” and how she feels like she’s “mourning the death of a friend.”

September 9: TMZ reports the NFL never contacted the casino to request video. Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications, issues this statement to CNN: “Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police. Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

September 9: Rice texts CNN’s Rachel Nichols this message: “I’m just holding strong for my wife and kid that’s all I can do right now.”

September 10: The Associated Press reports that a law enforcement official tells them he sent a DVD with a copy of the elevator video to an NFL office in April and on April 9 he received a voice mail acknowledging the video was received. It appears one person watched it. “You’re right. It’s terrible,” the caller says, according to the AP.

September 10: CBS News airs interview with Goodell in which he says he cannot rule out Ray Rice never playing in the NFL again.

September 10: Goodell sends memos to NFL owners that says the league asked law enforcement officials for the video from inside the elevator on multiple occasions but releasing evidence from an ongoing criminal investigation was illegal in New Jersey.

7 things to know about Ray and Janay Rice

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this story.