PITTSBURGH — The third-party arbitrator overseeing indefinitely suspended former Ravens running back Ray Rice's appeal is demanding silence regarding Wednesday and Thursday's proceedings, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Former federal judge Barbara S. Jones issued a gag order requiring that all parties involved not comment on the pending hearing. That includes Rice, his lawyers, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, league officials and lawyers and witnesses, including Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass.
It's not a surprising development. The NFL has previously told The Baltimore Sun that the league won't be making any comments during the hearing process, citing the confidentiality Judge Jones has required.
Rice's $35 million contract was terminated by the Ravens on Sept. 8 after a video surfaced of him knocking out Janay Palmer in a casino elevator in Atlantic City, N.J.
His original two-game suspension was increased that day by Goodell, who cited new evidence that he said differed from Rice's original account of the domestic violence incident. Rice will testify that he told the truth to Goodell and the Ravens, according to sources.
During the grievance, Rice's representatives will argue that the NFL violated his rights under Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement. That governs "One Punishment," and prohibits teams and the NFL from punishing a player more than once for the same violation.
Rice has also filed a separate formal grievance against the Ravens for wrongful termination of his contract. The three-time Pro Bowl running back was paid $25 million of the deal within the first seasons of the contract that was signed in July 2012.