Report: Ravens GM testifies that Ray Rice told Goodell he hit fiancee
Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome testified at Ray Rice's appeal hearing that Rice told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in June that he hit his then-fiancée Janay in an Atlantic City casino elevator, reports ESPN.
Goodell has claimed that Rice's account at the June 16 meeting was "ambiguous" and "inconsistent" with video released by TMZ that showed Rice punching Janay, who is now his wife.
Rice's two-day hearing ended on Thursday, his attorney told USA Today. It reportedly included testimony from Rice, his wife, Goodell, Newsome, NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller and Ravens president Dick Cass.
Goodell reportedly testified for more than two hours on Wednesday to begin the proceedings.
Following the completion of the hearing, the NFLPA released a statement praising former U.S. district judge Barbara Jones for "presiding over a fair and thorough hearing." From the statement:
This is the first time in the history of our League that a disciplinary hearing has been conducted pursuant to a joint agreement on a neutral arbitrator. We commend NFL owners and officials for the wisdom of this decision which enhances the credibility and integrity of our business.
Jones placed a gag order over the hearing, preventing anyone involved from speaking publicly about it, though Rice's attorney told USA Today that "generally speaking," things went as expected.
Rice is appealing his indefinite suspension handed to him by Goodell on Sept. 8 following the release of footage showing Rice punching Janay.
Goodell suspended Rice for two games over the summer after his arrest on domestic violence charges, and Rice is expected to argue that the commissioner had no basis to extend his suspension from two games to an indefinite period.
CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora has said several legal experts told him Rice "has an exceedingly strong case." If his appeal is successful, he could theoretically return to the NFL this season.
The running back has also filed a grievance against the Ravens for terminating his contract just hours before the NFL gave him the indefinite suspension.
- Molly Geary