The appeal hearing on Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL concluded yesterday, but not before Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome chimed in with testimony that bolstered Rice’s case.
Not only did basically everyone in America realize that the former running back had struck his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator after the first video surfaced on TMZ — according to Ozzie Newsome, so did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Goodell had upgraded Rice’s two-game suspension to an indefinite ban upon the release of the second, inside-the-elevator video, claiming the newly revealed footage “was inconsistent with the way [Rice] described what happened.”
Newsome contradicted Goodell’s claim, testifying that he was present at a disciplinary hearing on June 16 in which Rice told Goodell that he struck Palmer. A former federal judge is arbitrating the appeal.
It will be interesting to see what Newsome has to say when Ravens leadership takes its turn in the hot seat. Rice has a wrongful-termination grievance against the team for dropping him upon the release of that second video. It’s obviously a totally separate situation, but the firing had a very Goodell-esque, how-could-we-have-known vibe to it. And Rice’s argument is basically the same: he should only have been punished once for the incident.