Source: Tom Pelissero/USAToday
The NFL Players Association formally filed its expected appeal of embattled running back Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension Tuesday night – and it’s no surprise the union wants the appeal taken out of commissioner Roger Goodell’s hands.
“This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
“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.”
Appeals of discipline under the personal conduct policy normally would go back to Goodell, who extended Rice’s original two-game suspension to an indefinite ban Sept. 8.
The decision came within hours of TMZ.com posting video of Rice, 27, punching his then-fiancée in the face during a February incident in an Atlantic City elevator and minutes after the Baltimore Ravens released him.