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Ray Rice appeals indefinite suspension from NFL

Ray Rice appealed his indefinite suspension, as well as Roger Goodell's claim that the running back lied to him when presenting the facts of his domestic violence case.

Rob Carr

UPDATE: The appeal is official:

Here's the statement from the NFLPA:

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.

-- NFL Players Association

Additional information on this matter:

· The terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement require a hearing date to be set within 10 days of this appeal notice.

· Under governing labor law, an employee cannot be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment.

· The hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available.

***

Ray Rice will appeal the indefinite suspension that was handed to him by the NFL, according to sources speaking to Pro Football Talk. Rice was handed the suspension after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer inside an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Rice will be represented by the NFL Players Association and a lawyer retained by Rice. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been heavily criticized over the last week over how he has handled his investigation in Rice's domestic assault, will oversee the appeal. Rice could ask that a third-party hearing officer be designated to the case due to potential bias on Goodell's part, according to Pro Football Talk.

Rice will contend that he told Goodell the truth when the two met on June 16 to discuss the case. After the meeting, Rice was handed a two-game suspension, which was in line with the league's domestic policy at the time. In a letter sent to the NFLPA, Goodell explained his rationale for revising Rice's suspension to an indefinite period after seeing the video, saying, "This video shows a starkly different sequence of events from what you and your representatives stated when we met on June 16, and is important new information that warrants reconsideration of the discipline imposed on you in July."

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has been adamant that Rice did not lie to the team when they spoke with the running back, and sources speaking with ESPN's Outside the Lines have said that Rice was also up front with the NFL, despite what Goodell contends.