NFLPA Appeals Ray Rice Suspension

In some news that isn’t so surprising, the National Football League Players Association has formally filed an appeal of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension. 

The statement indicating that an appeal has been filed read…

Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.

“The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.

There are a couple things to focus on here.

As a union that represents every player in the league, the NFLPA has a duty to protect said players from perceived miscarriages of justice. No matter your opinion of Rice, he was essentially suspended twice for the same violation. Roger Goodell and Co. have indicated that it’s because new information (the elevator video) was made available. It’s still something the union had to address in order to remain viable in the minds of its members.

By indicating that the commissioner’s office should not overlook the appeal, the union is simply stating that Roger Goodell and his staff are witnesses. And this is perceived to be the truth, especially if you believe that the league first saw the at the same time as the general public.

It will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out. But I cannot imagine Goodell being allowed to look over the appeals process here. Then again, nothing the league has done in recent weeks should be surprising.

Photo: USA Today