Ray Rice To Appeal NFL Suspension

Posted: Sep 14 2014, 8:10pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Ray Rice to Appeal NFL Suspension
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Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will appeal his indefinite suspension from the league, per multiple reports.

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will appeal his indefinite suspension from the NFL.

According to The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, the appeal could be made as early as Monday, Sept. 15:

"Now that former Ravens running back Ray Rice's $35 million contract has been terminated and he's indefinitely suspended by the NFL, the NFL Players Association and Rice are poised to appeal by filing a grievance as soon as Monday, according to sources.

"Due process and the precedent for other players facing increased punishment are among the reasons for appealing the increased punishment Rice received, the sources said.

"Rice is also considering potential legal action will all options remaining on the table following his increased discipline from the league, according to sources, who noted the potential 'double-jeopardy' aspect of the former NFL player being punished twice for the same offense.

"Sources indicated that Rice is also regarded as likely to hire a crisis management firm to offer him advice.

"On Friday, the NFLPA got a letter from commissioner Roger Goodell explaining the increased punishment. The union has three business days to file an appeal, according to the NFL collective bargaining agreement.

"'This video shows a starkly different sequence of events from what you and your representatives stated when we met on June 16, and is important new information that warrants reconsideration of the discipline imposed on you in July,' Goodell wrote in the letter. 'Based on this new information, I have concluded that the discipline imposed upon you in July was insufficient under all the circumstances and have determined instead to impose an indefinite suspension.'

"Rice was initially suspended two games for violating the NFL personal conduct policy following his felony aggravated assault case. On Monday, a graphic video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay, whom he later married, in a casino elevator in February.

"Under Article 46, Section 4 of the collective bargaining agreement governing 'One Penalty,' it states that,'The Commissioner and a Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner's disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct.'

"When Rice's contract was terminated, he lost $3.529 million in salary for this season.

"There's precedent for players coming back from an ugly off-field incident to play in the NFL again, including former Ravens wide receiver Donte Stallworth (driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter) and New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (served time in federal prison for his role in a massive dogfighting ring).

"'It's a tough road to get back in the NFL after an incident like this, but there's a blueprint with what happened with Michael Vick,' said former NFL agent Joel Corry, who covers the business of football for National Football Post. 'What Ray has to do is work on reparing his image and staying out of any further trouble. If he pursues legal action, there's the question of whether that makes it more difficult for him to get reinstated by the league.

"'Ray has rights to consider under the collective bargaining agreement and as a dues-paying member of the union, so it's going to be interesting to see what he and the union do with this situation.'"

ESPN's Adam Schefter also confirmed Rice's plan to appeal:

"Ray Rice will appeal his indefinite suspension from the NFL on Monday, a source confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens this past Monday, just hours after TMZ released a video of the star running back punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

"The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely shortly after his release, a far more severe penalty than the two-game suspension initially handed down by the league in July.

"ProFootballTalk.com reported earlier Sunday that Rice planned to appeal the suspension.

"The two-game ban drew widespread criticism of the NFL's policy on domestic violence, prompting the league to institute harsher penalties and for commissioner Roger Goodell to admit that he 'didn't get it right' in a letter to team owners.

"But public outrage intensified this past week in the aftermath of the circulation of the video, which clearly showed Rice punching Janay Palmer -- now his wife -- in the face. Palmer hit her head on a railing inside the elevator and was knocked unconscious.

"The NFL and the Ravens both have repeatedly stated that they saw the video footage from inside the elevator for the first time Monday.

"But an anonymous law enforcement officer told the Associated Press that he personally sent a tape of Rice striking Palmer to an NFL executive in April, sparking further scrutiny of Goodell and the league."

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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