Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Eligible To Play Immediately [UPDATE]

Illustration for article titled Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Eligible To Play Immediately [UPDATE]

Ray Rice will be reinstated to the NFL, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapaport:


Rice, of course, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after video of his assault was made public in September. Rice appealed on the grounds that he was being suspended twice for the same offense. He was originally suspended for only two games.

Roger Goodell claimed the video revealed new information — something which all logic points to as a lie. Rice, among others, has said he told Goodell exactly what happened in the elevator. It looks like the judge in the hearing believed Rice:

The Ravens released Rice in September, so his reinstatement might be for show more than anything else. It's hard to imagine any team picking him up this late in the season, or ever again for that matter.


Update: The full decision by former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones has been released, and it Jones outlines her logic as well as pointing out missteps by the NFL. Twice she notes that Rice had gotten a copy of the interior elevator video as part of his court case but "the NFL never asked Rice for the second video." She also says, quite bluntly, "Rice did not lie."

"I do not doubt that viewing the video in September evoked horror in Commissioner Goodell as it did with the public," Jones wrote. "But this does not change the fact that Rice did not lie or mislead the NFL at the June 16 meeting."


Jones also weighed in on why the NFL needed video evidence to begin with: "That the League did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely."

The full decision is below.

Photo via AP