Ray Rice has begun the process to return to playing in the NFL. On Tuesday, The NFL’s Player’s Association filed a formal appeal of the indefinite suspension given to the former Baltimore Ravens running back. In a statement posted to their website, the NFLPA said they were appealing to “protect the due process rights of all NFL player.” Their statement read:
“Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players. The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.”
Initially the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, had given Rice a two game suspension, but when video of Rice knocking his now wife, Janay Palmer, unconscious surfaced last week he increased the penalty to an indefinite suspension. NFLPA President Eric Winston believes Rice should be allowed to play again. “I think that we’re all entitled to a second chance,” said Winston, who played last season with the Arizona Cardinals. “Obviously he made a horrific mistake and he’s paying for it. He’s already disciplined once, and actually disciplined multiple times by the commissioner.” The NFLPA said that the collective bargaining agreement requires a hearing date be set within 10 days of the appeal notice. It also said the hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available. Both the NFL and players’ association agree that Rice will remain suspended indefinitely while the appeal is resolved.
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