It’s still not clear whether players who got into off-field trouble during the lockout will be disciplined now that the NFL is back in business. It’s also not clear whether James Harrison’s comments in a Men’s Journal interview were sufficiently offensive that he’ll be in trouble.
But Steelers president Art Rooney II says he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will discuss the matter.
“I have not spoken to [Goodell] about it,” Rooney said. “I do expect we probably will be talking about it.”
Players typically haven’t been disciplined for expressing opinions, even extreme opinions like Harrison calling Goodell a “crook” and a “devil” and a “puppet” and a “dictator.” Harrison’s use of a gay slur, however, could put him in hot water.
For his part, Rooney thinks the new CBA won’t change the way discipline is handled: It’s up to Goodell.
“It’s my understanding that with regard to the personal conduct policy . . . there are no changes,” Rooney said. “My expectation is that the commissioner’s office will handle fines and discipline in a similar fashion to how things were handled the past few years. Having said that, I know the commissioner has been focused on other things in recent months, so I have to say that he may want to review some things and do things differently. We really haven’t talked about that in the last few weeks. But my understanding is that there is no change in the way the personal conduct policy will be handled or the way disciplined
will be handled.”