Rice appeal will include request that Goodell recuse himself from case


On Sunday, multiple sources told PFT (and eventually others) that Ray Rice would appeal his indefinite suspension on Monday.  On Monday, one source told PFT that the timetable had been delayed by a day.

The source said that multiple factors influenced the decision to wait until the final day of the appeal period, including a decision to submit with the appeal a written request that Commissioner Roger Goodell relinquish his authority over the appeal of personal-conduct policy cases.

Apart from Goodell already having prejudged the question of whether Rice told the team and the league the truth regarding what happened in that elevator, Goodell will be a witness, whose version of the events and other key questions will have to be considered by the hearing officer for accuracy and credibility.  In most cases, there’s no factual dispute over what happened; the issue is simply one of discipline.  In this case, Rice and, presumably, Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome will testify that Rice didn’t lie.  Others apparently believe he did.

That conflict shouldn’t obscure the question of whether the NFL knew or should have known what the video showed, even if Rice or anyone else on his behalf downplayed the violence that knocked out Janay Palmer Rice.  Whether it was an open hand, a closed hand, a shove, a push, an elbow, or any other specific type of blow, Rice strike her hard enough to knock her out.  The NFL knew that, the NFL apparently didn’t bother to stop and think what that looked like, the NFL suspended him only two games for it, and the NFL arguably shouldn’t be permitted to suspend him again for something he’s already been suspended for.

Rice’s ultimate argument will be that his second suspension had nothing to do with new evidence, and everything to do with the NFL bending to the will of public pressure, starting with the initial suspension of only two games and reaching critical mass once that video emerged eight days ago.  Regardless of what anyone thinks of Rice, he has rights — and it’s important that the rights of all players to not be disciplined multiple times for the same infraction be respected.

51 responses to “Rice appeal will include request that Goodell recuse himself from case

  1. Not a Ray Rice fan, but he is right. There’s no new evidence. The second punishment was purely damage control by the NFL for PR reasons.

  2. Not that anyone would sign him, except the Raiders maybe, but he’s a FA if the reinstate him. Crazy.

  3. Goodell slapped his wrist because his wife begged him and the Ravens were eager to go along.

    The second suspension was a kneejerk reaction to the tape they had already seen. My bet is Ray told the truth and now he’s getting extra punishment for it. Not that’s it’s undeserved but should have been done the first go round…..

  4. This crap storm hasn’t even begun to gather steam yet.

    When the league begins to lose sponsors under ‘Good Ol Rog’, watch how many of the owners start distancing themselves from him. The thing about rich people is, they’re pretty much okay with anything you do to the outside world, until you start costing them money.
    Goodell couldn’t have handled this thing any worse and he knows it.
    No spin doctors out there, no “The NFL Cares about domestic violence” commercials, nothing.
    Just letting this mess just swirl in the air like a kite without a tail…

    Hope you made enough money to retire on…

  5. I believe Rice should pay the consequences for his actions; however, the commissioner can’t just make up things as it goes.

    Rice was suspended for two games which many will agree was not enough. But Goodell cannot have a do-over. Rice didn’t do anything else since his original suspension to warrant this. A video came out. Public outrage followed. In other words, mob ruled Rice’s fate.

    Perhaps if Goodell would have gotten this right in the first place, the public outcry would not have been this loud. Goodell messed up big time; but he cannot fix it by changing his own rules.

  6. I agree with Rice’s stance here. He’s scum, but the league screwed up and their incompetence doesn’t earn them a mulligan.

  7. First, no matter who hears it, it should be cut and dry: you can’t tell me that lawyer Goodall would be stupid enough to not tape the original meeting with Rice and His Lawyer. IF not then he should be replaced. If so, then the tape may clearly show for everyone involved that there is a disparity between what was said and the actual video.

    I mean there is no way the commish saw that video beforehand or his questioning would have been totally different and his punishment much harsher than two games so Rice is DOA on this one.

  8. As media you all try to use your influence to get the NFL and/or public figures to bend to your will. When they do, you crucify them.

    In a criminal trial, Rice has rights, as an employee he doesn’t have rights in the manner of which you speak. That is why there is supposed to be a union.

    This is tricky case, because right or wrong Goodell in this instance he was trying to protect the entire league not one player.

    Right now, there are a little over 2000 active players. There are 4 major domestic violence cases, that is .0002 %, the union should really think about that. Rice won’t care because, well he obviously isn’t smart enough to figure out that he is a pariah right now and it has nothing to do with the league, and while the media loves to be able to bash Goodell for anything, Rice is the guilty party and he seems to think that everything will be like it was.

    If he were to come back now, what would the cost be to the league as a whole? I mean look at what is happening, AP who is arguably the best RB in the game is having his team’s fans asking for him to be cut. Hardy and McDonald are coming under fire as well. Not one of the 3 knocked out their victim, and all 3 are currently better players. If the better players have become pariahs, what does he think he will be, I mean he is fighting punishment for knocking his wife out, after he dodged a major bullet with the law.

  9. Goodell should not only recuse himself from this case but should recuse himself from the league entirely.

    He has guided the NFL ship onto a rocky shoreline and has no idea how to get it off.

    Jerry Jones and the rest of the NFL elite can only support him for so long before they will have no choice but to head for the life boats.

    … I wonder if Conoleeza Rice is busy these days?

  10. What does it matter? He can appeal, doubt any team signs him for at least a year or two tops. His days in the NFL are done. If I was an owner, I wouldn’t even give it a second thought. It would be a PR nightmare.

  11. I think ray rice has a valid argument. I do not condone what he did but the rules were the rules. goodell had already punished him and goodell even admitted that a new policy which entails 6 game suspension for first offense. then when the video shows up . goodell ignores his own rules and suspends him indefinatly ? goodell and his knee jerk actions and over discipline need to go.

  12. Everyone knew he would appeal and request Goodell to recuse himself as he will be called as a witness.

    Let’s get it done and move on. Rice’s suspension will be reduced and the media won’t be able to paint Goodell as the bad guy for Rice playing again.

    Then again i think the media would pin global warming on him if they could and i’m not sure they won’t try.

  13. If this were done right the league office, namely Goodell, will have to establish that new evidence was presented in order to justify the lifetime ban after the original suspension. Basically he has to call Ray and Janay liars. How does anyone do this when the original “evidence” is a conversation that is subject to personal interpretation?

    The new domestic abuse policy doesn’t work. It requires a conviction. Unless NFL can prove they were lied to the lifetime ban should be lifted. Let the teams decide if they want him and the media magnet he is right now. Teams know the attention span of the public lasts as long as the media allows it. If there is something new to talk about he goes away and the team that gets him has a pretty decent RB. He should apply the work ethic he had for football to repairing his relationship and reputation n the meantime.

  14. Ray Rice might not have to play another snap again. He will sue NFL over this and win. Lol. NFL will settle out of court to make this go away.

  15. I am a pretty smart guy.

    This is exactly how this is going to go down.

    Ray rice will sue the NFL and the Ravens for collusion. Not only will he win and get paid for 13 games this season. He will also win damages which could equal the remainder of his contract.

  16. I am impressed with how the NFL has messed this up. Just mishandled things to the point of crisis.
    I also happen to think that no one has messed up so badly that they need to be fired or banished from the NFL.
    The NFL needs a policy on how to deal with players who do things that offend its fans. The policy needs to be applied at the team and league level.
    Who are we to judge the relationship between Ray Rice and his lady? For all we know, after their fights, the make up sex is incredible.
    AP needs to attend parenting classes.
    That’s all.

  17. Ever consider it was the impact of the second blow (against railing) that knocked her out? Not defending Rice, just sayin. You should NEVER hit a woman. Period. But TMZ video shouldn’t have looped the punch either, that made things more dramatic then punching a female already is.

  18. Even if he wins reinstatement, there isn’t a team in the league that would think about signing him.

    MAYBE if he took the suspension like his wife took a punch, teams could play the “everyone deserves a second chance” card, and bring him in like that.

    By fighting the suspension he is only showing fans and the media that he thinks he wasn’t wrong in the first place and doesn’t deserve to be punished.

    Without Rice looking for contrition, no team can take him in, this season, or really…. ever.

  19. Goodell said that Rice was ambiguous. With that both he and Newsome could be right.

    For instance, Rice says in the conversation, I hit her, she hit the elevator, and she was knocked out. That sounds bad, but does not seem nearly as bad as I knocked her the F*&^ out.

    This is a perception world, and the we have seen that a big part of the population see this case worse now than they did before the video. We know at least the league and Ravens did.

    That is how, with previous evidence, they can come up with a different opinion with the same evidence. I have no doubt Goodell didn’t see that video, he is a PR guy, he would’ve known that wouldn’t go away. The initial video, that could fade away. I don’t know if the league had it or not. Rice should be gone and by his fighting the suspension it shows he doesn’t care any more now than he did when he hit his wife.

    I believe in 2nd chances, however, if the profession in which the offender works is something that will continue to keep him in a mindset that was similar to the one that led to the crime in this case an aggressive mindset, he should be permanently banned if for no other reason than his own protection so that he doesn’t commit another crime.

  20. “Whether it was an open hand, a closed hand, a shove, a push, an elbow, or any other specific type of blow, Rice strike her hard enough to knock her out.”

    It seems to me that the handrail knocked her out on her way the ground. Not that it makes Ray’s actions any less horrendous.

  21. Following Mr. Goodell’s testimony the NFL will put out a statement something like this:

    “The Commissioner gave testimony today based on what he could recall at that moment in time of what may have been said said in a meeting several months ago. Regarding the existence of notes or tapes of the meeting between the Commissioner and Mr. Rice, the league has determined that the Commissioner’s secretary depressed the wrong foot pedal when transcribing the recording of the meeting thereby inadvertently erasing all known meeting records.”

  22. Goodell isn’t even following his own stricter policy of 6 games for a first offense, which might be too lenient but that’s the new policy.

    If you can’t follow your own rules you don’t deserve to make the rules.

  23. I agree 100% and have aid it from the moment the video was made public.

    Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald are all still on their teams, but suspended until the legal system plays out.

    The system played out for Rice, and all was settled until the public opened their collective mouth and NFL and Ravens bowed to the pressure.

    Reinstate him. We love our Rice!!

  24. Its funny how you say that Rice has rights as you stump to abrogate the rights of Hardy and Peterson to have their day in court.

  25. Goodell should be fired because he opened up a “Pandora’s Box” and took the NFL into the role of judge and prosecutor of NFL players he deemed in violation of conduct policy that he alone administers unchecked. All players have the right to “due process” to determine all of the facts by our current legal system which will determine the guilt and punishment. Should the player be guilty of the alleged crime then the NFL can address the player and conduct policy. By allowing Goodell to be “God” you have placed the NFL into a role it was never intended and may create lawsuits for Goodell’s preemptive arbitrary and questionable fairness penalties which are not accountable to anyone else but him.

  26. Sounds smart but it isn’t. Roger would be more inclined to reverse his call or find a compromise than an independent arbiter. If you have a hatred for Goodell (most of you do), you will not be able to see this. Think harder and play out the scenarios in your mind and you will see. He needs an out and this is it. He knows he shouldn’t have suspended Rice but he needed to shut up the internet mob. I guarantee you Roger Goodell was counting on the ability to rectify the situation and do the right thing after everyone calmed down (but then Peterson’s crap hit the fan).

  27. Epitome of inmates running the asylum.

    Now, Rice feels he has a right to try and control the legal system after he disrespects it by knocking out his wife.

    Where do these guys get the testicles ?
    If I were Rice, I would crawl in a hole and wish never to be seen again because any may who hits a women belongs in one.

  28. You all – including PFT – are missing the point.

    I don’t believe a word he’s saying, but Gooddell is saying that there WAS a new development which caused him to revisit Rice’s suspension: he claimed that Rice never told him what happened in that elevator, which became obvious the day TMZ released the tape.

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