(NEW YORK) — Ray Rice is appealing his indefinite suspension by the NFL, and sources tell ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter the former Baltimore Ravens running back will argue that the league extended his punishment on the basis of an edited videotape.
According to the ESPN report, legal sources have told Schefter that the TMZ tape of Rice hitting his then-fiancée was a condensed version of the events that took place in the Atlantic City casino elevator last February.
Sources say Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who has been appointed by the NFL to investigate the league’s handling of the Rice case, is expected to have access to the contents of the full elevator security video, not just the edited version.
Rice was originally handed a two-game suspension for his domestic violence case. After TMZ released the videotape on September 8, the two-game ban drew widespread criticism of the NFL’s policy on domestic violence, prompting the Ravens to release Rice and the league to suspend him indefinitely.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he didn’t get the suspension right and later instituted a new domestic violence policy that includes a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense.
According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, several Ravens executives had a detailed account of the elevator incident hours after it took place and “began extensive public and private campaigns pushing for leniency” for Rice on several fronts, including the judicial system in Atlantic County, New Jersey, where Rice faced assault charges, and Commissioner Goodell. According to Outside the Lines, others in the Ravens organization, however, argued “immediately after the incident that Rice should be released.”
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