“What did the commissioner know, and when did he know it?” That is the question everyone has asked since the tape of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator was made public.
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Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is appealing his indefinite suspension at the hands of the NFL. Now, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will have to testify at the appeal hearing in November.
Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, the neutral arbitrator with whom both sides agreed, announced Wednesday that Goodell would have to testify, according to an AP source. Still undetermined is whether Goodell’s testimony will be confidential.
NFL attorneys had sought to protect Goodell from testifying, instead offering up Jeff Pash, the league’s general counsel, and Adolpho Birch, the league’s vice president for labor policy.
Rice was involved in an altercation with his then-fiancee´ in an Atlantic City casino in February. Rice struck his fiance, knocking her unconscious, and the NFL initially suspended him for two games. However, when a new videotape surfaced in September, the NFL extended that suspension to “indefinite.”
The NFL has maintained that the videotape constituted new evidence, giving the league the right to extend the punishment for the same offense.
Rice contends that Goodell knew the full extent of the evening’s events when determining the first punishment.