The former Baltimore Ravens running back on Tuesday filed an appeal of his indefinite suspension. The NFL Players Association's lawyers will represent Rice in the appeal.
"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."
Per the collective bargaining agreement, a hearing date must be set within 10 days of the notice of Rice's appeal. The hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available, and the league told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Wednesday that "(Commissioner Roger Goodell) never intended to hear the appeal."
As to the potential of Rice playing for another team during the appeal process, a league spokesperson said that, on the day the suspension was announced, teams were notified that "any contract between a team and Ray Rice will not be approved or take effect until further direction is provided from the commissioner's office."
"Now the argument from Ray Rice is that he was essentially a victim of double jeopardy," Rapoport said Monday on Around The NFL. "... Now of course, the NFL will counter that and say it is not the same violation, that there was new information that served this thanks to the TMZ video, and that, of course, led to the indefinite suspension."
Rice was initially suspended two games for a domestic violence incident involving his then-fiancee at an Atlantic City casino in February. The suspension became indefinite last week after TMZ posted a video that showed Rice striking Janay Rice in a Revel Casino elevator, causing her to hit her head on a railing and lose consciousness.
Prior to the release of the TMZ footage, the NFL announced sweeping changes to the league's personal-conduct policy. In a letter to league owners, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for his initial decision in the Rice case.