The StarCaps trial took an interesting turn on Thursday, when NFL V.P. of labor law and policy Adolpho Birch accused the lawyer representing Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams of leaking to the media the fact that the players had tested positive for the banned substance that had been secretly added to StarCaps, an over-the-counter weight loss supplement.
Specifically, Birch said that Ginsberg was “the most logical person” to have given the information to FOX’s Jay Glazer and Josina Anderson of FOX 31 in Denver, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Pressed for details, Birch then conceded, “I don’t know if [Ginsberg] leaked anything.” But Birch refused to call his accusation a guess, saying that “it’s a little more than speculation.”
We’ve got to disagree with Birch on this one, given that we have developed a pretty good understanding as to how NFL-related information flows — and to whom it flows. Because it’s regarded as bad form among writers to speculate on the sources of other writers, we’ve got some theories on how Anderson and Glazer got their information, and those theories don’t involve either reporter getting their information from Ginsberg.
Murphy also reports that, on Wednesday, Ginsberg suggested during questioning of NFL general counsel Jeff Pash that lawyer David Cornwell, who represented three Saints players who tested positive for StarCaps, leaked the information to the media after obtaining it from the NFL.
Cornwell told Murphy via e-mail, “That’s ridiculous.” Indeed, Cornwell issued a statement insisting that Anderson be stripped of her credentials to NFL events unless and until she discloses her sources. Though it might have been an elaborate misdirection play by Cornwell, why would he have made such a fuss if in reality he had been the source?
But we think we get Ginsberg’s point. He apparently believes that, when Cornwell contacted the league office on behalf of the Saints players who tested positive, the league shared with him the names of the other players who tested positive, including the Williamses.
Still, if that’s what Ginsberg believes, why in the hell didn’t he subpoena Cornwell to testify? No privilege would have applied to the communications, and he would have been compelled to answer the questions.
We’re also perplexed regarding Ginsberg’s decision not to call Anderson and Glazer to testify as to their sources. Maybe Birch’s speculation is rooted in that reality; as a lawyer, Birch apparently realizes that putting the reporters on the stand is a no-brainer in a situation like this. By choosing not to do so, perhaps Ginsberg is attempting to avoid a reverse-Perry Mason moment, when the reporter says to the lawyer, “Do you really want me to testify that you were my source?”
(Then again, Glazer is crazy enough to do just that. And we mean that as a compliment.)
Bottom line? It appears that Ginsberg isn’t going to be able to prove that anyone from the NFL blabbed, which means that it will be difficult to establish that the league violated the confidentiality provision of Minnesota drug-testing laws.
It’s not the only claim that the players are making, but it’s one of the most compelling. And it currently seems to be destined to fail.