Rice was originally given a two game suspension in July for violating the league's personal conduct policy for a physical altercation involving his then-fiancé Jenay Palmer in a casino elevator in February.
On September 8 a video surfaced showing the actual violent confrontation. Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the suspension to indefinite based on the "new evidence." Both the Ravens and the league denied having seen the video prior to the release by TMZ Sports on Sept. 8.
The NFLPA released a statement regarding 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.
-- 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.
Both the NFL and players' association agree that Rice will remain suspended indefinitely while the appeal is resolved.