Ray Rice gets reinstated


MCT Photo

Rice has been the spark to ignite the firestorm that has swallowed the NFL this season. It has also sparked a national controversy around the issue of domestic violence. The NFL still has not finished its internal investigation on the handling of the Rice case.

Joshua Patterson and Jordan Baker

   Ray Rice was reinstated when an arbitrator, former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, ruled that he did not mislead Commissioner Roger Goodell when he testified about the incident where he punched his wife.

Now the much maligned running back is back. He is free to re-sign with any team that peruses him.

“In this arbitration, the NFL argues that Commissioner Roger Goodell was misled when he disciplined Rice the first time. Because, after careful consideration of all of the evidence, I am not persuaded that Rice lied to, or misled, the NFL at his June interview, I find that the indefinite suspension was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated,” said Jones’ decision.

“I find that the NFLPA carried its burden of showing that 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,” Jones also wrote.

“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,” she concluded.

Rice since released a statement that said “”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.”

There are also multiple reports that Rice has drawn the interests of several teams including the Indianapolis Colts, and the New York Jets.

“I think the Colts would be most interested in Ray Rice because the Colts don’t have a lot depth at the running back position.  It would be a smart investment for them despite the problems that could fallow,” junior Max Gottleibson said

This situation will be a very difficult situation for the teams to handle, especially with the ever growing need to watch the teams’ image. Also sponsors may pull advertising if a team does sign Rice.

After Rice was suspended the first time Nike and others pulled their endorsement deals with him. Rice lost a total of $1.6 million from endorsement contracts being terminated.

Janay Palmer Rice also has co-written her account of the story with ESPN’s Jemele Hill and continued to emphasize the fact that Ray had taken responsibility for his actions from the beginning.

“I think she is worried about all the money she could be losing, if Ray and she separated.  If that happened between a couple that weren’t famous then they would be separated and in court and one of them would be in jail for assault,” junior Maxwell Brown said

Rice has also made an appearance on the Today show and explained his side of the story, while around Janay and her parents.

“The big deal is for me to always protect her, and that’s why I said I take full responsibility. She can do no wrong. This is something, you know, as a man you have to own and, we’re horribly sorry, and I’m horribly sorry for everything that I have to put my family through. I still got to live every day, go take my daughter to school. She’s going to grow up and the way the Internet works now she’s going to Google her father’s name and the first thing that’s going to come up is, you know what’s going to come up.”

The one piece of this incident lost in most peoples’ minds is that fact that Roger Goodell has been saying that Rice was ambiguous and lied to the NFL about what happened in the elevator that night.

If what Ray Rice and his wife have said is true then Roger Goodell has deliberately lied to the public in order to protect his own image in the wake of the truth coming out.

“Roger Goodell deserves to be punished for the lying he has done and trying to cover up the whole situation.   He should be fired and the NFL should start looking for a new commissioner as soon as possible,” senior Brian Jenkins said

If Goodell did lie then the biggest scandal in recent NFL history will take another unexpected turn, and for the better or worse the owners may be called on to decide Goodell’s future.