Former Ravens RB Ray Rice’s two-day appeal hearing concluded on Thursday. Rice is currently in the process of appealing the NFL’s decision to suspended him indefinitely, but details are beginning to surface about what took place during Thursday’s hearing.
Both Rice and his wife, Janay, testified today, but one of the more interesting details comes from Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome‘s testimony.
According to Don Van Natta Jr. of “Outside the Lines,” Newsome testified under oath Thursday that he specifically heard Rice tell NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he hit his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the casino hotel elevator.
This coincides with what Newsome told reporters months ago, which is that he believed Rice told the truth during their meeting with Goodell.
Goodell denied Rice’s account of the meeting and referred to it as “ambiguous.”
Ravens president Dick Cass did not testify because they felt as though they got enough from Newsome’s testimony, nor did owner Steve Bisciotti, according to Mike Garafolo.
Sources have told “Outside the Lines” that the details of what explained to Goodell are “key to Rice’s chances for reinstatement.”
Rice has remained on indefinite suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. However, Goodell elected to further punish Rice after the video of him knocking out Janay was released by TMZ.
The NFL Players Association is arguing that Rice had already been punished once for this situation and any further disciple regarding this matter would violate labor law.
Here’s a statement released by the Players Association earlier today:
The NFLPA thanks Judge Barbara Jones for presiding over a fair and thorough hearing. This is the first time in the history of our League that a disciplinary hearing has been conducted pursuant to a joint agreement on a neutral arbitrator. We commend NFL owners and officials for the wisdom of this decision which enhances the credibility and integrity of our business. The collectively bargained rights of all players must be vehemently preserved and we take that obligation seriously.
U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones will ultimately determine the outcome of this situation, but it’s hard to say what to expect at this point in time.
We’ll have more updates as the news is available.