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StarCaps lawyer calls outcome "decidedly mixed"

Lawyer Peter Ginsberg has issued a statement in response to Thursday’s ruling in the StarCaps case.  Though his clients, Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, proved that the NFL is their employer for the purposes of the drug-testing programs and that the league violated Minnesota law in connection with the tests that triggered four-game suspensions, Judge Gary Larson found that the suspensions ultimately should not be blocked. 

Here is the full text of Ginsberg’s statement:

“Kevin and Pat have shown an enormous amount of courage standing up to the NFL machine throughout this litigation.  The NFL not only failed to abide by its obligations to administer the Steroid Policy fairly and equally, but chose to ignore its ethical obligation when it discovered that Players were taking an over-the-counter food supplement — StarCaps — that contained a potentially lethal and undisclosed controlled substance.  And all the while, the NFL was holding to the position — as it has throughout this litigation – that State Law did not apply to the NFL.  And that it could thus ignore the rights and protections that the Minnesota Legislature decided was needed for all employees.

“This litigation hopefully will make the Steroid Policy better, not weaker, as the NFL has contended, and will force the NFL to be more responsible and responsive to its obligations.

“The results are decidedly mixed.  All NFL Players and the State of Minnesota have gained an important victory.  No employer can stand above the Law, including the NFL.  We are obviously disappointed that, despite violating Kevin and Pat’s rights, the NFL still is threatening to suspend them.  Kevin and Pat should be admired for the battle that they waged, not only for all NFL Players but for all employees throughout the State of Minnesota.”

We’ve yet to study the full opinion, but we will be doing so very soon.  Ginsberg contends that Judge Larson found that the NFL is an “employer” of the Williamses (a ruling that could hurt the league in other contexts), that the NFL must comply with Minnesota law when conducting drug testing, that the league violated the relevant statute in this case, but that the players were not injured by the violation.  Ginsberg confirmed that he will attempt this afternoon to preserve the temporary injunction pending appeal, and we’ll be breaking down all of the issues and potential consequences later today for SportingNews.com.

Though Kevin and Pat Williams are now in line to miss the first four games of the 2010 season, Ginsberg believes that the NFL lost on the issues that the league regards as most important to its interests — the joint employer concept and the supposedly bulletproof nature of the drug policies with respect to federal law.  We believe there’s a chance that the matter could be resolved in a way that unrings that bell in exchange for an agreement not to suspend the players, but it’s likely a long shot at this point that the two sides will agree on anything.

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37 Responses to “StarCaps lawyer calls outcome "decidedly mixed"”
  1. BenRapistberger says: May 6, 2010 12:29 PM

    I dont understand how they can still be suspended if it was determined that doing so would violate Minnesota law.

  2. GirthyOne says: May 6, 2010 12:33 PM

    The NFL Dictatorship once again proves that power corrupts.

  3. saintswhodi says: May 6, 2010 12:47 PM

    Vikings fans, plus Florio’s, excuse for losing the opener in 3, 2, 1……

  4. Gabrielsdad237 says: May 6, 2010 12:58 PM

    What a load of Lawyer BS. They agreed to abide by the NFL’s rules when they signed their contracts. I am disgusted that the Vikings even pulled this crap. I really wish the league would fine Wulf for this stupid lawsuit. Man I wish the Senate would get off it’s ass and pass some tort reform.

  5. PckrFnInMinn says: May 6, 2010 1:00 PM

    How can this bozo attorney claim that the “Wall” should be admired for fighting this?! EVERY player fights their suspension, whether they know they did wrong or not! Furthermore, it’s a joke to think that state law should be held over the NFL’s drug testing policy, if that’s correct that gives the state of MN a HUGE advantage to recruiting players, “Hey, come play for us, you can fail any and all drug tests and our state law will protect you!” What a crock, suspend these fatasses and let’s play football

  6. sand0 says: May 6, 2010 1:02 PM

    This kind of sucks. Vikes do have good depth though and at least it isn’t for the post season. If you are going to lose them the first 4 games with plenty of advance notice is not nearly as troublesome as what the NFL originally tried to do by just springing it right before playoffs.

  7. Bob says: May 6, 2010 1:04 PM

    Serve the suspension already. You broke the rules, you got busted. Look what’s on the label next time. It’s always someone else’s fault. Geez…

  8. DailyNorseman says: May 6, 2010 1:10 PM

    The judge in the case said that the NFL knowingly and willingly withheld the fact that StarCaps contained a banned substance from the league, the teams, and the players, as well as the FDA. Yet the only people that are getting punished here are Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Will Smith (who the arrogant Saints fan that posted above seems to forget).
    The NFL pretty clearly wants another Korey Stringer situation. . .maybe if they cross their fingers and pray real hard, they’ll get one. Maybe it will even happen in Minnesota. . .no doubt that would make Roger Goodell happy as a clam.

  9. Bob Nelson says: May 6, 2010 1:20 PM

    Some of us have been saying for years, cheaters never prosper.
    These 2 were abusing all sports common sense and caught taking a steroid masking agent to cheat.
    They could have accepted their punishment like men and completed their suspensions years ago (like their 2 defensive line teammates did for steroid and substance abuse).
    Instead these obese and lazy vikings publicly and freely admitted that their reasoning was:
    to defraud on their weight,
    in order to defraud their employer,
    and defraud on their contract weight incentives,
    and obtain money by fraudulant means.
    Some defense. “We were taking the steroid masking agent to defraud in a different manner than steroids.”
    Not only the NFL and other professional sports leagues but the Olympic committee and other amateur sports associations submitted briefs saying that:
    – cheating with steroids and steroid masking agents is immoral in all sporting events.
    – it violates the spirit of athletic competition
    – drug testing is necessary to detect evil immoral cheaters and remove them from polluting the competition
    – keep events pure, clean, and the hard working athletes and champions reputations untarnished
    – using steroids and their masking agents goes against all common sense.
    THIS IS A VICTORY FOR JUSTICE, MORALITY, TRUTH and THE AMERICAN WAY!!

  10. Flvikesfan says: May 6, 2010 1:22 PM

    Please don’t tell me this means the Vikes are sending 20xx draft picks to the Redskins for Albert Haynesworth for insurance?!?!?!? Vikes have been trying to steer clear of thug idiots, this guy is just a distraction.

  11. CanadianVikingFan says: May 6, 2010 1:25 PM

    Cue Saints fans who continue to talk trash about the Vikings when the last team they beat was the Colts, and for the Superbowl for that fact, you’d think they would bring them up..
    But then we all know the average IQ of people in New Orleans afterall is lower than the level Phillifans treated Donovan McNabb.

  12. prmpft says: May 6, 2010 1:32 PM

    man – i LOVE the far side…

  13. Bob Nelson is a Whiney Titty Baby says: May 6, 2010 1:38 PM

    Bob,
    You’re not Superman–that’s your wife’s name for me.

  14. BIG BLUE in tx says: May 6, 2010 1:46 PM

    I think its so cute how viking fans hate Saints fans so much. Its either penis envy or Lombardi Trophy envy, but knowing viking fans its probably both.
    Thank god the Super Bowl won’t be played in Minnesota this year or their supreme court would rule that the SB trophy belongs to the Vikings even though they didn’t make the playoffs.

  15. DailyNorseman says: May 6, 2010 1:55 PM

    Sounds like Bob Nelson is just disappointed that Pat or Kevin Williams. . .or maybe both. . .didn’t end up like Korey Stringer did.
    Typical Packer fan mentality.

  16. jimicos says: May 6, 2010 1:58 PM

    DailyNorseman says:
    May 6, 2010 1:10 PM
    The judge in the case said that the NFL knowingly and willingly withheld the fact that StarCaps contained a banned substance from the league, the teams, and the players, as well as the FDA. Yet the only people that are getting punished here are Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Will Smith (who the arrogant Saints fan that posted above seems to forget).
    The NFL pretty clearly wants another Korey Stringer situation. . .maybe if they cross their fingers and pray real hard, they’ll get one. Maybe it will even happen in Minnesota. . .no doubt that would make Roger Goodell happy as a clam.
    ————————
    Nevermind that the NFL has no responsibility to inform players of supplements that contain substances that are illegal or disallowed in the policy.
    To make an exception and communicate to the players that StarCaps did contain Bumetanide would’ve set a precedent that the NFL was not in a position to set. If they had communicated this knowledge, other players down the road would’ve sued based on the fact that they took supplements the NFL never told them they shouldn’t take.
    The NFL is not a babysitter. It’s not the league’s responsibility to check every flight-by-night vitamin or supplement on the market. They don’t have the resources to do it. They have tests. Fail the tests and you’ll find out what you’ve been taking.

  17. zappa says: May 6, 2010 1:59 PM

    @Bob,
    I agree, serve the suspensions and lets move on. BUT, reading the package would have done no good as Star Caps did not list the drug that is causing the problem.

  18. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: May 6, 2010 2:04 PM

    Decidedly mixed= We got our ass handed to us

  19. packersurle says: May 6, 2010 2:11 PM

    This will be a big help for the Packers – Go Pack

  20. Charles Wood says: May 6, 2010 2:14 PM

    If your team had lost as much as Minny’s… you would be full of angst too. The Queens either suck- or they are awesome and trip on a dick. Either way- they are a HUGE let down. Hence… Brent Farve being a perfect fit there.
    Speaking of Farve… wasn’t his last pass to Tracy Porter ever beautiful??? The best ball he threw all year!! :)~

  21. awoods1906 says: May 6, 2010 2:19 PM

    Big Blue – I am falling out of my chair laughing

  22. DailyNorseman says: May 6, 2010 2:23 PM

    “The NFL is not a babysitter. It’s not the league’s responsibility to check every flight-by-night vitamin or supplement on the market. They don’t have the resources to do it. They have tests. Fail the tests and you’ll find out what you’ve been taking.”
    Then why don’t you explain why, exactly, it is that the NFL has a hotline for players to ask what supplements contain (when anyone bothers to actually man the hotline, I mean).
    Sounds to me like the NFL has said that they WILL check every vitamin or supplement on the market, and if you call to ask them what it contains, they’ll tell you.
    Unless, of course, it contains an illegal substance they can pop you for later on. In that case, you’re on your own.

  23. saintswhodi says: May 6, 2010 2:27 PM

    Um, CanadianVikingsFan, checked a schedule lately? Saints play the Vikes in the opener, thus wouldn’t it make relevant sense to talk about our next opponent as opposed to the previous one? But being a Canadian Vikings fan has to be even worse than being an American one, cause, ya know, Canadian speaks for itself and being a Vikes fan comes with a built in whine.

  24. jlbay says: May 6, 2010 2:32 PM

    BenRapistberger says: May 6, 2010 12:29 PM
    I dont understand how they can still be suspended if it was determined that doing so would violate Minnesota law.
    It was not determined that the suspension would violate Minnesota law, it was determined that the manner in which the drug testing was conducted violated state law. The Judge clarified that in the specific case of the Williamses, they were not harmed by the NFL’s violation of the state law, therefore the suspensions should stand.
    In other words, the NFL probably had other avenues to facilitate the drug testing, and as such, eventhough the NFL violated the state law in their manner of testing, ultimately in this case the end result would not have differed.
    Now Rapistberger go back to that nasty little bathroom stall, take out your little mini Oscar Mayer and get back to what you do best (well at least most).

  25. DCViking says: May 6, 2010 2:50 PM

    Nevermind that the NFL has no responsibility to inform players of supplements that contain substances that are illegal or disallowed in the policy.
    To make an exception and communicate to the players that StarCaps did contain Bumetanide would’ve set a precedent that the NFL was not in a position to set. If they had communicated this knowledge, other players down the road would’ve sued based on the fact that they took supplements the NFL never told them they shouldn’t take.
    The NFL is not a babysitter. It’s not the league’s responsibility to check every flight-by-night vitamin or supplement on the market. They don’t have the resources to do it. They have tests. Fail the tests and you’ll find out what you’ve been taking.
    ——————————————————————–
    That position doesn’t make any sense to me. While I agree the league shouldn’t be responsible for knowing what is and isn’t in every supplement, if they a product was bad and didn’t tell the players seems like they are acting in bad faith. It is one thing to not know; it is another to know and not tell.
    Ultimately, the reason these substances aren’t allowed are for the players health. Imagine what would have happened if one of these guys would have died as a result of the effects of Starcaps (specifically, the Butemaide (sp ?) and the league knew they were tainted.
    How do you think league’s excuse for not telling would have held up then?

  26. Franchise says: May 6, 2010 3:04 PM

    I love how Saints fans have a “holier than thou” attitude on this subject when in fact their own players are tied to the case for the very same thing.
    I hope the appeal process takes long enough for the Wall to play week 1 just to shut these people up. It wont matter though, because the Saints can’t run the ball well anyway.
    @ Bob Nelson
    “to defraud on their weight,
    in order to defraud their employer,
    and defraud on their contract weight incentives,
    and obtain money by fraudulant means.”
    Please do us a favor, go do some research before you spout off on things so you look a bit less like a complete dumbass (if thats even possible).

  27. Ralph says: May 6, 2010 3:07 PM

    I think it’s pretty clear that most don’t understand the reason the NFL has fought this as long as they have, and it has nothing to do with masking agents or suspensions or State vs Federal laws.
    The NFL did not, and does not want to be classified as an “employer” of the players. The are issues at hand that will not turn out well for the NFL if this precedent is upheld.
    I would venture a guess that it’s just as likely the NFL will appeal this ruling.

  28. Moozie says: May 6, 2010 3:12 PM

    Steroid Cheaters=Minnesota Vikings

  29. DailyNorseman says: May 6, 2010 3:27 PM

    “I love how Saints fans have a “holier than thou” attitude on this subject when in fact their own players are tied to the case for the very same thing.”
    They sure do. If Pat and Kevin Williams aren’t playing in the opener, it means that Will Smith isn’t playing in the opener, either. Most people will remember Will Smith as the only Saints defender with a chance of hitting Brett Favre before a pass gets out of his hand. (Most of the Saints defenders specialize in hitting the quarterback 4 or 5 seconds after a pass is thrown and getting away with it.)

  30. saintswhodi says: May 6, 2010 3:35 PM

    Franchise says:
    May 6, 2010 3:04 PM
    I love how Saints fans have a “holier than thou” attitude on this subject when in fact their own players are tied to the case for the very same thing.
    I hope the appeal process takes long enough for the Wall to play week 1 just to shut these people up. It wont matter though, because the Saints can’t run the ball well anyway.
    ———————————————–
    Slow down skippy. Only one player for the Saints is effected, Will Smith. Think we can get by without him better than you can without the Wall.
    Second, Saints had the #6 running game last year. That seems to be running the ball well. Facts aren’t your enemies. Intelligence, maybe it seems.

  31. Saints-America'sTeam says: May 6, 2010 3:41 PM

    @DailyNorsemen – Arrogant Saints fan? Really? We’re a lot of things…arrogant, not so much. We came up from the days of brown bags, but still rooting for our team. Don’t mistake arrogance for a true fan. We just love our team.
    If you’re looking for arrogance, look no further than the viqueens, who keep dissing the dancers, but have never been to the dance. By the way, let’s just see how the Queens fare without their wall against our upgraded O line. We’ll like to give Smith a little 4 game break so he’ll be rested for the Two Dat…TRUE DAT!!!
    @CanadianVikingFan – Ignorant Saints fans??? “Duh, how many should be in dis here huddle, huh?” Pot meet kettle.

  32. jimicos says: May 6, 2010 3:49 PM

    DCViking says:
    May 6, 2010 2:50 PM
    Ultimately, the reason these substances aren’t allowed are for the players health. Imagine what would have happened if one of these guys would have died as a result of the effects of Starcaps (specifically, the Butemaide (sp ?) and the league knew they were tainted.
    ———————–
    Sorry, the reason Bumetanide isn’t allowed has nothing to do with player health and everything to do with Bumetanide’s ability to mask steroids. The steroid rules are about steroids, not player health.

  33. DCViking says: May 6, 2010 4:13 PM

    # jimicos says: May 6, 2010 3:49 PM
    DCViking says:
    May 6, 2010 2:50 PM
    Ultimately, the reason these substances aren’t allowed are for the players health. Imagine what would have happened if one of these guys would have died as a result of the effects of Starcaps (specifically, the Butemaide (sp ?) and the league knew they were tainted.
    ———————–
    Sorry, the reason Bumetanide isn’t allowed has nothing to do with player health and everything to do with Bumetanide’s ability to mask steroids. The steroid rules are about steroids, not player health.
    —————————–
    Sorry, if steroids didn’t pose a health risk, everyone in the NFL would be allowed to them — just like normal supplements. Steroid rules are exactly about player health.

  34. DailyNorseman says: May 6, 2010 6:37 PM

    “@DailyNorsemen – Arrogant Saints fan? Really? We’re a lot of things…arrogant, not so much. We came up from the days of brown bags, but still rooting for our team. Don’t mistake arrogance for a true fan. We just love our team.
    If you’re looking for arrogance, look no further than the viqueens, who keep dissing the dancers, but have never been to the dance. By the way, let’s just see how the Queens fare without their wall against our upgraded O line. We’ll like to give Smith a little 4 game break so he’ll be rested for the Two Dat…TRUE DAT!!!”
    No, make no mistake. . .you’re incredibly arrogant. After all, it’s a scientifically proven fact that the only people that refer to Minnesota’s NFL team as the “Queens” or the “ViQueens” are arrogant pricks and mentally handicapped eight year olds.
    And hey, maybe you’ll get lucky again and the Vikings will stop themselves enough times for the Saints to win. . .because that garbage New Orleans defense sure didn’t do anything to stop them. I doubt they’ll have any more success without the only guy on their defense capable of getting to a quarterback before the ball is thrown (as opposed to 4 or 5 seconds afterwards, which is about the only contact with a QB most of the Saints defense is capable of making).

  35. Saints-America'sTeam says: May 6, 2010 11:07 PM

    @DailyNorseman – If you think for a moment that the Vikings don’t act like a bunch of drama queens you need to pay attention. Favre is the biggest queen of them all. Allen is second, crying that he would have played differently if he was watching the game. What? The jerk doesn’t even watch the game???
    The actions of these drama queens do not reflect upon anyone else but them…and you for not recognizing that they deserved to lose the game against the Saints and they NEVER could have beaten the Colts.
    Favre gets hit a lot because he has no protection. Period. Look at the games from last season. You’ll see all teams getting to him. He lays there on the ground whining about what he (and you) perceive as a late hit and Lo! it’s NOT! Just more drama queen crap. In the game against the Saints McCray was called for a late hit once when it wasn’t. It all evened out and yet…YOU LOST.
    So arrogance doesn’t play here. It’s all on you and your challenged team. 12 men in the huddle…LOL come on! Chilly is a chump too. Sad, sad coaching.
    We’re not arrogant, we’re good fans. We used to root for Favre before he started acting like a drama queen. Wait. It must be the Viking’s influence.
    See you in the Dome in September with our upgraded O and D lines. What do you want to bet Queen Favre doesn’t play that game? He’ll be back…but not for that game. What a joke!

  36. DCViking says: May 7, 2010 9:20 AM

    Saints-America’sTeam says: May 6, 2010 11:07 PM
    @DailyNorseman – If you think for a moment that the Vikings don’t act like a bunch of drama queens you need to pay attention. Favre is the biggest queen of them all. Allen is second, crying that he would have played differently if he was watching the game. What? The jerk doesn’t even watch the game???
    —————————————————-
    You’re such brilliant fans that you don’t even realize it was Ray Edwards not Jared Allen who mad the comments about playing the game differently if you knew Favre was being hit.
    Was Coach Sean sharing his stash with you or what?

  37. Saints-America'sTeam says: May 7, 2010 11:53 AM

    @DCViking – Yep, I’m a brilliant N.O. fan, not MN. How can I possibly keep up with all the crap coming from you camp. I humbly recant – Allen did not say that, Edwards did. Allen whined, Look out next time…you, you…big bullies. Yeah, you got me, DCViking. Sheesh!
    BTW, Payton shared plenty with our city. He carried that trophy around for months letting our citizenry hold it, touch it and pose with it. No other coach, owner or GM has ever been as accessible to the fans as he has been. He was not even mentioned in this law suit as someone who pilfered drugs. He did not do anything wrong or illegal, even the shyster said so. Get your facts right.

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