Ray Rice Reinstated

Ray Rice has successfully appealed his indefinite suspension and is now available to sign with any NFL team. Multiple teams are reportedly interested, including the Saints and Colts.

Rice was initially given a lenient two game suspension for a domestic violence video released to the public, however, when the whole video was released, Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely.

Rice was reinstated on Friday after a neutral arbitrator found him to be truthful with the league and sincerely sorry for his actions. It was also concluded that Rice could not be punished twice for the same offense, as he was originally suspended two games. Goodell felt he could give Rice another punishment because Rice was not clear as to what really happened with his then fiancée Janay. However, arbitrator Barbara S. Jones contradicted this, stating “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.”

Nonetheless, it seems as if the NFL is tolerating domestic violence by allowing Rice to return to the league.  The indefinite suspension was the right decision by Goodell, however, it was too little too late because it would be the second punishment for the same offense. The initial suspension of two games was ridiculously low, which allowed the deserving indefinite suspension to be revoked. No one is perfect, but Commissioner Goodell messed up big time.

Rice released the following statement after being reinstated to the league: “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.”

Although it is good that Rice feels remorse for his actions, he should never have been allowed to return to the league, at least this season. The root of the problem goes back to the initial two game suspension. However, hopefully the NFL can use this experience to help them make more appropriate suspensions in the future.