Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Can Return To NFL Roster
Ray Rice, who was indefinitely suspended from the NFL after video footage surfaced showing him hitting his then fiancée-now wife Janay Palmer, has won his appeal against the league’s ruling.
Ray Rice Wins Appeal
U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones ruled to reinstate Rice in the NFL and that the league was wrong to worsen his punishment months after determining that a two-game suspension was sufficient due to a newly released video. Jones found that Rice had been forthcoming about the details about the night in Feburary of last year in which he was caught on camera in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel.
“Because Rice did not mislead the commissioner and because there were no new facts on which the commissioner could base his increased suspension, I find that the imposition of the indefinite suspension was arbitrary,” Jones wrote in her decision. “The provisions of the first discipline—those regarding making continued use of counseling and other professional services, having no further involvement with law enforcement, and not committing any additional violations of league policies—still stand.”
Upon learning of Jones’ decision, Rice released a statement to thank her, as well as the NFLPA, his family and friends.
“I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans – but most importantly, my wife Janay. I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes.”
As for the NFL, they’ve accepted Jones’ decision. Rice is now a free agent and can be signed to any of the franchises for the rest of the 2014 NFL season. He will be immediately eligible.
“We respect Judge Jones’s decision to reinstate Ray Rice from his indefinite suspension for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy in an incident of domestic violence,” Brian McCarthy, VP of Communications for the NFL, said in a statement. “Ray Rice is a free agent and has been eligible to be signed by an NFL team since he was released by the Ravens. Based on Judge Jones’ decision, he will be eligible to play upon signing a new contract.”