Ray Rice Appeals Suspension

TUESDAY, 8:02pm: Rice has filed an appeal of his suspension, a source tells Albert Breer of the NFL Network (on Twitter).

Breer (link) passes along the NFLPA’s statement on the appeal:

Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players. The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.”

A hearing date has to be determined within the next ten days, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Both sides concur that Ray Rice remains suspended indefinitely while his case is being appealed, sources tell ESPN’s Ed Werder (Twitter).

MONDAY, 9:36pm: Rice was expected to officially appeal his indefinite suspension today, but that appeal will be delayed until at least Tuesday, reports Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). Part of the reason for the delay is to give more time for Rice’s representatives to craft a request for Commissioner Goodell to recuse himself from the case.

SUNDAY, 9:42pm: The NFLPA will fight on behalf of Rice in part because of the precedent it will set for players going forward on the matter of due process, reports Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter).

For Rice, a major argument in his defense will be using the “one punishment” article of the collective bargaining agreement, according to Wilson (via Twitter).

6:42 P.M.: Former Ravens’ running back Ray Rice will appeal his indefinite suspension from the NFL, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Rice was suspended following the emergence of video evidence in the domestic violence incident in which he physically assaulted his now-wife in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino.

The Ravens had released the Pro Bowl running back prior to his suspension.

Rice is expected to officially appeal on Monday, according to league sources. Florio reports that the NFLPA will handle the case in conjunction with Rice’s lawyer.

Roger Goodell will play a key role in the appeal process. Rice was suspended under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, which leaves the commissioner as the final authority over all appeals. Florio expects that Rice’s representatives will ask that Goodell remove himself from the proceedings. This move would not be unprecedented, as Goodell removed himself from the Saints case during the bounty investigation.

Even if this scenario plays out, Goodell and the NFL office would be likely to testify as witnesses, writes Florio. A key component of the case will be whether or not Rice lied about what happened inside the elevator before the video evidence was made public.

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