Ray Rice was just reinstated by the NFL after missing 11 games of the 2014 season. He’s now eligible to join any team, and the NFL has agreed not to “pursue any further punishment” against him, and accepts the ruling is “binding,” according to SB Nation.
The Baltimore Ravens terminated the football player’s contract in September after controversial footage surfaced of him punching and dragging his then-fiancee, Janay, out of an elevator. The NFL banned Rice soon thereafter. He then appealed the decision.
Rice released a statement about his reinstatement through the NFL Player’s Association (from SB Nation):
“I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans – but most importantly, my wife Janay. I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes.”
The NFLPA also made a statement:
“This decision is a victory for a disciplinary process that is fair and transparent. This union will always stand up and fight for the due process rights of our players. While we take no pleasure in seeing a decision that confirms what we have been saying about the Commissioner’s office acting arbitrarily, we hope that this will bring the NFL owners to the collective bargaining table to fix a broken process. It is clear that this decision should force the NFL to embrace neutral arbitration as part of a necessary due process in all cases. The players thank Judge Barbara Jones for her time and thoroughness in this matter.”
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