Ray Rice was just reinstated by the league a short time ago today which effectively ends his indefinite suspension from the NFL after hitting his wife, Janay. Rice appealed that suspension and it was finally handed down today that he won and can immediately play. An NFL spokesman, when asked by ESPN’s Andrew Brand if the league would pursue any further action against Rice, said: “We, of course, accept the ruling as binding.” Hit the jump.
What is still unclear is will there be any teams willing to sign Rice knowing the media stampede and protesters that may accompany him on the team.
Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a video of him hitting his then-fiancée was released publicly. Goodell originally had suspended the running back for two games.
Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension was heard by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones earlier this month. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome testified under oath Nov. 6 in the appeal hearing that he heard the former Baltimore running back tell Goodell during his June 16 disciplinary hearing that he had hit his then-fiancée in a casino hotel elevator, sources told “Outside the Lines.”
Rice also testified, as did his wife, Janay. Details of what Rice and his wife testified to Nov. 6 and what Goodell said Nov. 5 were not released to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” because of a gag order that Jones imposed. But sources said Newsome backed Rice’s previous accounts of what he told Goodell. Goodell spent the majority of his time testifying under cross-examination by outside union attorney Jeffrey Kessler, sources said.
This is a big win in the eyes of players because it means the court felt commissioner Goodell was not necessarily being truthful about knowing the entire story to begin with when Rice claims he told him. Personally however, I will be surprised if any teams sign him this season.