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Thread: Goodell's at it again.

  1. #1
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    Goodell's at it again.

    As many of you know, there was a report last year, from Al Jazeera, that Peyton Manning, James Harrison, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Mike Neal all obtained HGH and/or other potential NFL banned substances.

    Many of you might not know that the NFL quietly cleared Peyton, but has been going after the other four players, demanding that they come to New York for interviews. The players, through the NFLPA have submitted affidavits, which would be fine in a court, but that's not enough for the NFL.

    I don't know about the Packers players, but I do know James Harrison publicly said that he would interview with the NFL if they came to Steeler camp, instead of wanting him to miss camp and go to New York.

    Well, today, the NFL told the NFLPA that if the players did not interview, presumably in New York, by the 25th, they would be suspended for "conduct detremental to the NFL" indefinately. In fact, it's worse than that. While you can read the whole letter om NFL.com, here are the most interesting paragraphs, both near the end:

    There is no dispute that players are obligated to cooperate with the league’s investigation, as you have repeatedly acknowledged. This obligation includes not only the responsibility to submit to an interview but also the duty to provide meaningful responses to the questions posed. Nor is there a dispute that a failure to cooperate or an attempt to obstruct the investigation may result in discipline, including suspension from play, for conduct detrimental under Article 46 of the CBA and the NFL Player Contract.

    Amy comment: So, I googled the CBA, and looked up Article 46 and read it. It does cover Commissioner Discipline. However, there is nothing there about failure to cooperate leading to any discliplinary action. It is logical that it should, I will concede that, but it does not say that in Article 46.

    The next paragraph is even more interesting.

    We cannot accept your unilateral assertion that the cursory, untested statements you have submitted satisfy the players’ obligation. Accordingly, the Commissioner has directed that Messrs. Harrison, Matthews, Neal and Peppers be given until Thursday, August 25 to provide interviews. For those players whose interviews do not take place on or before that date, or who fail meaningfully to participate in or otherwise obstruct the interview, their actions will constitute conduct detrimental and they will be suspended, separate and apart from any possible future determination that they violated the steroid policy. The suspension for each such player will begin on Friday, August 26 and will continue until he has fully participated in an interview with league investigators, after which the Commissioner will determine whether and when the suspension should be lifted.

    I want to emphasize the end of this paragraph.

    The suspension for each such player will begin on Friday, August 26 and will continue until he has fully participated in an interview with league investigators, after which the Commissioner will determine whether and when the suspension should be lifted.

    In other words, if they do not interview by the 25th, even if they later do, or if they are fully cleared, they can remain suspended as long as Roger wants them to. A year, two, forever.

    This is moronic on so many levels. It points to why the Brady case was so important to every NFL player (ironically, Harrison was one of the few to understand that), it shows why the NFLPA needs better leadership.

    I love the NFL, I love football. And, you know what, I want to NFLPA to strike. Today. To say as long as he is commissioner, we will not play. They won't. D. Smith doesn't have the guts for that. But it's what I want. Roger is the poster child for conduct detrimental to the NFL.
    "False Start everyone but the center." Gene Steretore. Pats vs Jets. 12/24/16.

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    Wor stoppage!!!
    Go, Flaming Thumbtacks!

  3. Amy comment: So, I googled the CBA, and looked up Article 46 and read it. It does cover Commissioner Discipline. However, there is nothing there about failure to cooperate leading to any disciplinary action. It is logical that it should, I will concede that, but it does not say that in Article 46.
    As a Patriots fan, the bolded portion must infuriate you.
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  4. Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  5. #5
    The NFL is so freakin' hilarious.

    -I wonder if we should believe them or Adele about the Half Time offer.

    In some ways, you have to respect their "Deny, Deny, Heavy-Hand, Deny" approach to everything.

    There is five years left on the current CBA. Five. Five. FIVE. At this point, much of the blame has to fall on DeSmith and the players who caved because too many of them couldn't plan accordingly in 2012. That's what this comes down to.

    The letter sent yesterday is, of course, ridiculous, but all the NFL has to do is point to the blanket policy whether or not it specifically mentions being uncooperative. The players will not win this.
    As a writer, I'm like the last girl at the bar. In the morning, you may regret asking for my services, but I'll get the job done. As long as I don't puke on your floor.

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  6. #6
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
    The NFL is so freakin' hilarious.

    -I wonder if we should believe them or Adele about the Half Time offer.

    In some ways, you have to respect their "Deny, Deny, Heavy-Hand, Deny" approach to everything.

    There is five years left on the current CBA. Five. Five. FIVE. At this point, much of the blame has to fall on DeSmith and the players who caved because too many of them couldn't plan accordingly in 2012. That's what this comes down to.

    The letter sent yesterday is, of course, ridiculous, but all the NFL has to do is point to the blanket policy whether or not it specifically mentions being uncooperative. The players will not win this.
    It's easy to blame the players, as if it were that simple to coordinate a union with such a large diverse constituency. We alos seem to forget that the players fought for a lot of concessions they got, specially about full contact practice, "voluntary" workouts, OTAs, and other aspects that might have mattered to them more than the disciplinary powers of Goodell.

    Ross Tucker had a very interesting article about this a while back.

    His point is valid: should they spend so much time on something that affected a minor portion of them on a daily basis (Goodell's abuse of power was not something we were all talking about back in 2009) versus something that impacted them immeadiately like personal freedom regarding "voluntary" workouts.

    The NFLP is a much larger union than the NBAs or MLBs, with a much different level of turnaround in membership (average length of careers are vastly different). There is a reason the franchise tag isn't a real priority yet. It only affects at most 32 players each year, out of a 2216 current membership (less than 1,5%). Most of those players feel the franchise tag would be a good problem to have (it means you have such a bright and promising future to your career, instead of having to fight to stick to a roster.

    Ina any CBA negotiation there is stuff you fight for and stuff you give up. We might feel that Roger Goodell's absolute power is an aberration, but we have yet to see if it the majority of the NFLPA feels that fixing it a priority over any other contractual issues they have (pension plans, guaranteed contracts, etc..)

    In any case, I hate Roger Goodell, but if the NFLPA is going to strike, it's not going to be about this. I don't even think they can strike until after the CBA ends, as per an agreement they made. Or was that the NBA?
    “Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.”
    ― Napoleon Bonaparte

  7. Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
    In any case, I hate Roger Goodell, but if the NFLPA is going to strike, it's not going to be about this. I don't even think they can strike until after the CBA ends, as per an agreement they made. Or was that the NBA?
    Direct from the 2011 CBA:

    Section 3. Releases and Covenants Not to Sue:

    (a) The NFLPA on behalf of itself, its members, and their respective heirs,
    executors, administrators, representatives, agents, successors and assigns, releases and
    covenants not to sue, or to support financially or administratively, or voluntarily provide
    testimony of any kind, including by declaration or affidavit in, any suit or proceeding
    (including any Special Master proceeding brought pursuant to the White SSA and/or the
    Prior Agreement) against the NFL or any NFL Club or any NFL Affiliate with respect to
    any antitrust or other claim asserted in White v. NFL or Brady v. NFL, including, without
    limitation, any claim relating to the 2011 lockout, any restrictions on free agency, any
    franchise player designations, any transition player designations, the Draft, the Entering
    Player Pool, the Rookie Compensation Pool, Total Revenues (“TR”) or television rights
    fees with respect to any League Year prior to 2011, collusion with respect to any League
    Year prior to 2011, or any claim that could have been asserted in White or Brady related
    to any other term or condition of employment with respect to conduct occurring prior
    to the execution of this Agreement. For purposes of clarity, this release does not cover
    any claim of any retired player.

    (b) The NFL, on behalf of itself, the NFL, and the NFL Clubs and their
    respective heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, successors and assigns,
    releases and covenants not to sue, or to support financially or administratively, or
    voluntarily provide testimony of any kind, including by declaration or affidavit in, any
    suit (including any Special Master proceeding brought pursuant to the White SSA and/or
    the Prior Agreement) against the NFLPA or any of its members, or agents acting on its
    behalf, or any member of its bargaining unit, with respect to conduct occurring prior to
    the execution of this Agreement.

    (c) Other than as provided in the Settlement Agreement, the releases and
    covenants not to sue in Subsections (b) and (c) above shall not apply to any Injury or
    Non-Injury Grievance asserted under the Prior Agreement, or to any proceeding to
    confirm an Injury or Non-Injury Grievance award under the Prior Agreement.

    (d) The parties shall take prompt and immediate steps to dismiss the litigation,
    grievances, and arbitration referenced in Paragraph 4 of the Settlement Agreement
    and the NLRB proceeding referenced in the side letter to the Settlement Agreement
    dated July 26, 2011.
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  8. #8
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    I love the NFL, I love football. And, you know what, I want to NFLPA to strike. Today. To say as long as he is commissioner, we will not play. They won't. D. Smith doesn't have the guts for that. But it's what I want. Roger is the poster child for conduct detrimental to the NFL.

    If the NFLPA was a strong union, this is what a strong union would do. But they are a weak union. The NFL kicked their ass in the last CBA negotiation and they will do it again. And Smith knows that even though striking is better for the long-term benefit of the NFLPA, the players will fold quickly if they do this.

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