Ray Rice Wins NFL Appeal, Eligible to Play Immediately
It turned out to be a good holiday for Ray Rice after all.
Earlier today, first reported by Ian Rappaport, that Ray Rice has won his appeal with the NFL, and therefore is eligible to come back and play immediately. Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after the video was released portraying Rice knocking out his wife Janay and dragging her out of an elevator. Rice was originally suspended for two games, but the public outcry caused commissioner Roger Goodell to increase the punishment to the indefinite level.
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The case hinged on the fact that the NFL believed that Ray Rice lied to them, in testifying during his original discipline hearing. They felt that the video showed an incident that was far worse than what he described, entitling the league to give out the additional punishment. After reviewing the evidence, the arbitrator ruled that Rice had been truthful, therefore the additional punishment was unfair, and vacated.
I am going to go into more detail tomorrow morning in review of the decision, but the arbitrator was right. There had to be a reason to allow Goodell a second chance to discipline Rice, and there wasn’t one. Essentially, Goodell based his argument on a play on words, which is never going to fly.
The only question now is whether or not a team will be willing to risk the baggage that will come along by signing Ray Rice. What do you guys think?