The day after Thanksgiving Ray Rice has something else to be thankful for. On Friday the former Ravens Running Back won his appeal against his indefinite suspension and will be immediately eligible to play in the NFL. It’s a huge win for the NFLPA and players who may challenge Roger Goodell in the future. It might be a good look to start with how he hands down discipline and maybe even by creating a clearer player code of conduct.
Following the release of the infamous elevator video, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed that Rice misled the league about what had transpired in the elevator. Goodell told CBS News that “when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.” He said in a league letter that the video depicted an incident that was “starkly different” than the account relayed to him by Ray Rice.
Goodell said the “new information” in the video to justify revising Rice’s punishment and suspended him indefinitely.
But a federal judge, in an arbitration proceeding, rejected Goodell’s claims and found that Rice was truthful in the June proceeding. U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones found that “Rice did not mislead the Commissioner at the June 16th meeting, and therefore, that the imposition of a second suspension based on the same incident and the same known facts about the incident, was arbitrary.” Jones found that the Commissioner was not “fair or consistent” in his punishment. She also admonished the league for their failure to take domestic violence more seriously, prior to a public backlash.