Friday October 24th, 2014

The lawyer heading the NFL Players Association's investigation into the handling of the Ray Rice case says the league and the Baltimore Ravens are not cooperating, according to the Associated Press

The lawyer, Richard Craig Smith, told the AP that the NFL has not provided documents and witnesses that NFLPA investigators have requested, with the Ravens refusing to cooperate with similar requests. 

"I am interested in the facts, and if we get cooperation from all the parties that were involved, we will have an understanding of what happened," Smith said. "We cannot accept public statements that call for transparency, candor and openness and then not allow the investigators to do their jobs."

Since the investigation is not a law enforcement inquiry, the NFL and the Ravens are not legally required to comply with requests. 

• ​Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated by mid-November

The NFLPA announced on Sept. 24 that it was launching an investigation into how the NFL and the Ravens handled Rice. Rice was initially suspended by the league for two games in July after being charged with third-degree aggravated assault in March. After TMZ released video in September showing Rice punching his then-fiancée in a casino elevator, the Ravens released Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Rice is appealing the suspension and has reportedly filed a grievance against the Ravens for what he argues was wrongful termination. 

A hearing for Rice's appeal has been set for Nov. 5-6. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will reportedly be forced to testify at the hearing, which is being heard by former U.S. district judge Barbara Jones as a neutral arbitrator. 

NFL Fan Poll: Should Goodell keep his job?

Goodell has been criticized for his handling of Rice and there have been questions about what Rice told him when the two met over the summer and whether Goodell had seen the video before TMZ released it. Goodell has maintained that neither he nor anyone at the NFL saw the video. 

A separate investigation into Goodell's handling of the Rice case is also currently being conducted by former FBI director Robert Mueller III, at the NFL's request. 

- Molly Geary

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