Ray Rice scored a major victory against the NFL authorities who suspended him indefinitely after a video of him knocking out his then-fiance Janay Palmer hit the web earlier this year.
On Friday, a judge ruled that NFL Commissioner abused his power when he changed Rice’s 2-game suspension to an indefinite one following the release of the video, saying the action was unwarranted.
According to the judge, Rice told them the truth when he was initially questioned by NFL authorities and so there was no basis whatsoever for their decision to increase his punishment.
‘Rice did not mislead the Commissioner at the June 16th meeting, and therefore, that the imposition of a second suspension based on the same incident and the same known facts about the incident, was arbitrary,’ said U.S District Judge Barbara S. Jones. ‘The Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in his imposition of discipline. Moreover, any failure on the part of the League to understand the level of violence was not due to Rice’s description of the event but to the inadequacy of words to convey the seriousness of domestic violence. That the League did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely.’
In his reaction, Rice released a statement of appreciation, which reads in full:
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.
Meanwhile, his wife Janay Rice blasted the Baltimore Raven for dropping him in the wake of the scandal, telling ESPN, ‘I was extremely surprised and angry that the Ravens released him, because they know him. They were our family, but I felt like the Ravens completely disregarded the past six years with him.’
A video summary of the interview can be seen below.