Sports Football

NFL

Ray Rice wins appeal of suspension, can sign with any team

The Sports Xchange

Former Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) won an appeal of his indefinite suspension on Friday, Nov. 28. 2014. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports/Files)

Former Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) won an appeal of his indefinite suspension on Friday, Nov. 28. 2014. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports/Files)

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is eligible to sign with any team after his indefinite suspension was lifted Friday, according to various reports.

Judge Barbara Jones, the arbitrator chosen by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, sided with Rice in his appeal of the suspension levied after the release of a video showing him punching his fiancée in an elevator in February.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games after a video showed Rice dragging his fiancée, Janay, out of the elevator in an Atlantic City casino. But Goodell made the suspension indefinite after the emergence of a second video showing Rice knocking out Janay with a punch.

Jones heard Rice's appeal earlier this month, with Rice, Janay (now his wife), Goodell and Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome among those testifying.

The NFLPA argued that Rice was a victim of double jeopardy, being suspended a second time for the same transgression. The league argued that Rice had not revealed the truth prior to the second video emerging.

In her 17-page ruling Friday, Jones reportedly wrote that Rice "did not mislead the commissioner" when they met about the incident June 16.

Jones called the second suspension "arbitrary" and wrote that she was vacating it.

Rice was indicted by a grand jury for third-degree assault in March, but in May -- after he and Janay had married -- he accepted a plea deal that is generally offered to first-time domestic assault offenders. He entered a pre-trial intervention program that includes mandated counseling.

In July, Goodell announced a two-game suspension for the coming season. The commissioner later lamented his punishment as too light, and the league made changes to its punishment parameters for domestic abuse cases.

On Sept. 8, just before the season was about to kick off, the video of the knockout punch was posted by TMZ. The Ravens immediately released Rice, and Goodell extended his suspension indefinitely.

Rice, 27, played for the Ravens for six seasons, rushing for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Poll

Should Ray Rice return to the NFL?


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »