The NFL's players' union criticizes Commissioner Goodell's handling of the Rice case
The National Football League Players Association has filed an appeal challenging the league’s suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, saying it seeks to protect the “due process rights” of NFL players.
Rice was initially suspended for just two games after a domestic violence incident against his then-fiancee Janay Rice in an Atlantic City casino in February. However, the NFL indefinitely extended Rice’s suspension after new video footage was recently released showing Rice striking Janay Rice and causing her to lose consciousness before dragging her body out of an elevator.
The NFLPA criticized Rice’s treatment, saying there has been a “a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the office of the Commissioner of the NFL” Roger Goodell, who has been criticized for his inconsistent approach towards Rice’s case, as well as being too lenient in Rice’s first two-game suspension.
Rice has been indicted by a grand jury on third-degree aggravated assault and could face a three-to-five-year jail sentence.
A hearing will be set within 10 days of the NFLPA’s notice of the appeal, where a neutral arbitrator will hear Rice’s case. The appeal accuses the NFL of double jeopardy, saying that “under governing labor law, an employee cannot be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment.”