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Ray Rice Wins Appeal Indefinite Suspension Overturned

11/28/2014 12:22 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ray Rice just won a HUGE victory ... his indefinite suspension has been overturned.

Short story ... a judge just ruled NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell abused his authority when he changed Rice's discipline from a 2-game suspension to an indefinite one.  

The judge ruled Rice had told the truth when he was initially interviewed by Goodell and company and the Commish had no right to alter the punishment after TMZ posted the elevator video.

It could be something of a hollow victory ... Rice is now a man without a team, and his prospects of new NFL employment is iffy at best.

In decision, U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones explained ... "Rice did not mislead the Commissioner at the June 16th meeting, and therefore, that the imposition of a second suspension based on the same incident and the same known facts about the incident, was arbitrary."

"The Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in his imposition of discipline. Moreover, any failure on the part of the League to understand the level of violence was not due to Rice's description of the event but to the inadequacy of words to convey the seriousness of domestic violence. That the League did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely."

Rice issued a statement saying he's thankful.

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