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Report: Arbitrator will rule on Ray Rice appeal

A neutral arbitrator will hear the appeal of former Ravens running back Ray Rice’s indefinitely suspension.

A neutral arbitrator will hear the appeal of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension, reports’s Chris Mortensen.

According to the report, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to the union's executive board saying "for the first time ever, the league in the Rice appeal has agreed to a neutral arbitrator.”

Rice filed the appeal of his suspension on Sept. 16 and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he never intended to hear the appeal.

"This occurs in the context of a difficult set of facts and circumstances [but] it is a positive movement on the overall question of neutral arbitration and a fair personal conduct discipline process," Smith wrote.

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Rice was indefinitely suspended on Sept. 8 after a videotape surfaced of him hitting his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator in February. 

Also in the email, Smith says the union plans on forming a commission using experts to help the NFLPA and the NFL address "education, prevention, counseling and the discipline process regarding domestic violence and sexual assault."

Former FBI director Robert Mueller is leading an independent investigation into the NFL’s handling of Rice assault case.  NFLPA said they are also investigating the league and the Ravens. 

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