Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has officially won his appeal to return to the NFL, lifting his indefinite suspension and making him eligible to sign with any team in the league.
After video footage surfaced of Rice striking his then-fiance and removing her from an elevator, current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely; a decision that later came under fire after it was discovered that the league had knowledge of the tape prior to its release.
Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones reached her decision after ruling that Rice did not try to deceive Goodell, thus the decision to suspend Rice indefinitely after first only removing him from two games was seen as "arbitrary."
Rice has released the following statement:
"I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans -- but most importantly, my wife Janay," Rice said in a statement released by the NFLPA on Friday. "I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions.
"I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes."