Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has filed a formal grievance against the franchise, alleging the team's decision to release him violates terms of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.
Per a report from Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Rice claims the Ravens' decision to release him after video of him knocking his then-fiance, Janay Palmer, unconscious constitutes a violation of league rules that forbid double jeopardy.
Rice, 27, was initially suspended for two games by the NFL for a violation of the league's personal-conduct policy after being arrested for domestic abuse. His relatively light banishment caused such an uproar that the NFL instituted a new, harsher domestic violence policy that calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense. When TMZ leaked elevator footage of Rice striking Palmer, the Ravens almost immediately released him and the NFL added an "indefinite" label to his suspension.
The NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL on Rice's behalf last month.That hearing is scheduled for Nov. 5 and 6, though Florio notes there has been no formal date set for Rice's case against the Ravens.
"Under governing labor law," the NFLPA said in a statement last month, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today, "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."
Albert Breer of NFL.com notes the timeframe of the current grievance being filed:
Opinions have differed on whether Rice was 100 percent truthful in his description of the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Norah O'Donnell of CBS News in September that what happened was described as "ambiguous" at the time. In another interview with Christine Brennan of USA Today, Goodell said Rice's account was "not consistent" with what was on the video.
"There was no ambiguity when you saw that tape (Monday)," Goodell said. "It was sickening. It was appalling. It was clear that it was not consistent with what they presented to us in the hearing and we needed to take the right step which is to indefinitely suspend him."
Rice has contended he was truthful with Goodell and the Ravens. Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com, citing sources who were connected to Rice's meeting with Goodell, said the former Pro Bowl running back told the commissioner the truth. If the Ravens and NFL are found to have broken the CBA, Rice could be awarded his $3.52 million salary for 2014, per Florio.
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