(SportsNetwork.com) – Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been
reinstated to the NFL, winning an appeal of his indefinite suspension from the
league according to multiple sources.
Rice, who has been suspended since Sept. 8 for punching his now-wife in an
Atlantic City Casino back in February, is now free to sign with any NFL team.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games over the
incident, but later banned him indefinitely for violating the NFL’s personal
conduct policy following the release of video footage that showed him striking
Janay Palmer inside an elevator of the Revel Casino.
The video rocked the league and also led to Rice’s release by the Ravens
on the same day Goodell announced the harsher penalty.
Surveillance footage showed Rice and Palmer entering the elevator at the now-
closed casino. The two were standing next to each other before a minor
shove. Rice then moved away and Palmer rushed toward him before he reacted
with a quick left-handed blow.
Rice appealed the indefinite suspension at a hearing in early November, one in
which Goodell testified. Rice and his wife also testified, as did Ravens
general manager Ozzie Newsome.
The NFL Players Association argued the league violated labor laws by
increasing Rice’s punishment after the video surfaced. Goodell spent most of
his time under cross-examination by outside players union attorney Jeffrey
The 27-year-old Rice is a three-time Pro Bowler, rushing for 6,180 yards and
37 touchdowns in six seasons with Baltimore.