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Hines Ward: Players are learning they gave Goodell too much power

Hines Ward AP

When the NFL players accepted the new Collective Bargaining Agreement last year, only one of the 32 teams dissented: The Steelers, whose players voted 78-6 against the CBA. Now one player on last year’s Steelers team says the rest of the players are finding out why they should have been more skeptical.

Hines Ward told radio station WFNZ in Charlotte that players are discovering that their CBA gave the commissioner’s office too much power to take disciplinary action against players, and failed to give the players sufficient avenues to appeal Goodell’s decisions.

“So Roger Goodell, even though a lot of players don’t like having him in charge, the NFLPA, we signed off on the collective bargaining agreement,” Ward said, via USA Today. “And it should be noted that we were the only team who voted against it, and that was a major factor because of how we are fined on our team. In order to go to the appeal committee, we had to go right back to Roger Goddell. So that was one of the big things that we voted no against because we just felt like it was going to be unfair.”

Ward noted that the four players suspended for the Saints bounty program probably wish the players had negotiated for a process that took that decision out of Goodell’s hands.

“But to the rest of the teams that did vote for the CBA, he’s in charge, and those are the rules, and that’s what you have to abide by because that’s what you signed up for,” Ward said.

It would be interesting to know what the tally would be if the Saints could re-vote on the CBA. Eleven months after a majority of the Saints approved it, they now might vote it down by an even more lopsided margin than 78-6.

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56 Responses to “Hines Ward: Players are learning they gave Goodell too much power”
  1. joetoronto says: Jun 27, 2012 4:57 PM

    But I thought money was everything, Hines?

  2. contra74 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:00 PM

    Here is a crazy thought – Dont screw up and you wont have to answer to Goodell. Simple as that.

  3. golfnutt67 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:04 PM

    you need to take that up with D. Smith he the one who allowed this to happen.

  4. saintsfan26 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:06 PM

    As a Saints fan, i apologize to the Steelers on behalf of the entire Who Dat Nation, the New Orleans Saints, and all men and women across the world who have been the victim of an unfair justice system. Pittsburgh, i salute you.

  5. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Jun 27, 2012 5:07 PM

    Not all 32 voted. The Raiders didn’t vote one way or the other.

  6. smacklayer says: Jun 27, 2012 5:08 PM

    Don’t forget that while the 4 players getting suspended for the bounty program are very loud and getting all headlines and sympathy, they only account for about 1/10 of 1 percent of the total players. So while we may occasionally get a sound bite from a random player defending the suspended Saints players, there are litterally thousands of others who either don’t care, or support the league. 99% of the players will never be affected by Goodells power to suspend.

    I am not on either side of this issue, just saying that while the power Goodell has garnered much attention lately, there were many more important issues that played out in this CBA that affect many more players, including finanacial issues, practice frequency, marketing deals, etc.

  7. blacknole08 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:12 PM

    Hines Ward is right but that’s what the players agreed on when they signed the new CBA. They can’t really blame Goodell when the NFLPA gave him the power he has now.

  8. brazy44 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:13 PM

    This is pretty simple. The NFL doens’t want to be like MLB and let some smuck arbitrator make them look foolish.
    And I agree with the other post, don’t f-up and you don’t got to worry about it.

  9. spartyfi says: Jun 27, 2012 5:20 PM

    here’s the problem. A bunc of rich people that have never been disciplined in their lives are now being disciplined for the first time and can’t handle it. Discipline also seems unfair to my 2 year old but at least he is learning it early!

    On a side note, busted for DUI’s, weed or anything else the company doesn’t like, I don’t even get an appeal, I get shown the door. So, you rich NFL players need to just be happy they’ve given you an appeal process, even if it is a sham.

    I have no problem if Goodell disciplines the way he does. Someday this might actually help to clean up the 10% of the turds in the NFL!

  10. cwwgk says: Jun 27, 2012 5:23 PM

    ‘“But to the rest of the teams that did vote for the CBA, he’s in charge, and those are the rules, and that’s what you have to abide by because that’s what you signed up for,’ Ward said.”

    Thank you.

  11. londonbengal says: Jun 27, 2012 5:24 PM

    He’s the goddam commissioner for christ sakes. He hasn’t got any more ‘power’ than any other commissioner; he’s just choosing to use it.

    If you don’t like the time, don’t do the crime people.

  12. cbass59 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:33 PM

    The POINT is that Goodell is the judge, jury, AND appeals process. We in America at least like a different party hearing the appeal. Apparently, many of you are ok with Soviet justice. Hines and the Steelers were right. Too much power in one person’s hands. And Goodell has been more than a little inconsistent.

  13. cbass59 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:34 PM

    What if you don’t do a crime but still do the time? In Goodell’s world that happens.

  14. dontouchmyjunk says: Jun 27, 2012 5:39 PM

    I am growing sick and tired of these whiney players. There are a little more than 1800 NFL players (counting practice squad-ers). 1700 of them do their jobs quietly and without incident.

    For those last 100 or so? You’re mostly scum of the earth who believes the world owes you everything you desire.

    It’s easy to tell who the scum is. They’re the ones who whine the loudest.

    I, for one, applaud Roger every time I hear about another player getting suspended. But that’s not enough. Most of the whiners need to be expelled from the NFL permanently.

    Having any job in the NFL is a privilege. It is NOT a right. I don’t mean to rag on the NFL players. Most of them are decent people and great athletes who would never be anywhere near any kind of trouble.

    But for the rest? Go get ‘em, Roger! Lifetime expulsion from the game. It’s come to that.

  15. goalie007 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:42 PM

    If the players would play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, within the rules, with proper fundamentals and proper technique, and behave themselves like adults and professionals off the field, they wouldn’t have anything to worry about. However, since they can’t seem to do that, somebody has to crack the whip. I have no problem with what the Commissioner is doing. The players need to grow the hell up.

  16. ravenator says: Jun 27, 2012 5:43 PM

    Not the fans problem. Let the game go on. Stay out of trouble and play clean and this really won’t be an issue.

  17. whodatgirl1 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:43 PM

    Therein lies the problem: This was the last argument that was decided in the CBA. The players didn’t want it and Ginger wouldn’t give in at all. Ginger, of course, used this as an advantage.

    If I don’t have power, then you don’t play or make money while I will rest peacefully with my $20 mil. A season lockout wouldn’t have affected Ginger as much as it would have affected the players which gave Ginger leverage in negotiating.

  18. peytonfavrecircus says: Jun 27, 2012 5:48 PM

    This NFL fan thinks all NFL fans have given too much (money, time, loyalty) and the players and owners have let it go to their heads.

    They both deserve all the fame and fortune they are ever increasingly getting ( I have no problems that I will never make in my lifetime what the average NFL player makes in one year now), however the NFL fans deserve much more than they are getting from the players, from the owners, and from the media covering the NFL (yeah the media, they got it real good too from our addiction to football, but you’d hardly know it).

  19. bullcharger says: Jun 27, 2012 5:50 PM

    No one likes people that say “I told you so”.

  20. peytonfavrecircus says: Jun 27, 2012 5:50 PM

    In the above, I meant what the fans are getting off the football field mostly, although there’s always a Haynesworth or two around on the field too.

  21. cooklynn17 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:53 PM

    Learning? They haven’t learned a thing or they wouldn’t have given him that much power in the first place.

    Blame nobody but yourselves and that worthless union.

  22. mitchitized says: Jun 27, 2012 6:06 PM

    @londonbengal: “If you don’t like the time, don’t do the crime people”

    And if you don’t do the crime, but get convicted without trial or jury because the Commish wants to send a message? What then?

    Right now the NFL is really damaging people’s reputations in a very public manner; and those accused are demanding evidence and by the looks of it, not getting any.

    If this is the case, anyone that ever dreams of playing in the NFL better get used to the new Football Position: grabbing your ankles.

  23. brettfavresmidget says: Jun 27, 2012 6:11 PM

    If a Wines Hard talks in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

  24. countyk66ers says: Jun 27, 2012 6:12 PM

    The NFL commissioner has always a lot of power.

  25. reaser2 says: Jun 27, 2012 6:38 PM

    The problem isn’t that the Commissioner has the power, the problem is who that Commissioner is…

  26. craigmaitland says: Jun 27, 2012 6:44 PM

    Too much power? All he asks is multi millionaires act like decent human beings. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t drink and drive.

  27. finfan83 says: Jun 27, 2012 6:49 PM

    “But to the rest of the teams that did vote for the CBA,he’s in charge,and those are the rules,and that’s what you have to abide by because that’s what you signed up for,”
    So…..because the Steelers voted against the CBA, they’re not subjected to the rules of it?

  28. stairwayto7 says: Jun 27, 2012 6:55 PM

    I guess the STeelers are the only team who read the whole CBA and not only part of it. This was a bad deal from the beginning.

  29. nflfollower says: Jun 27, 2012 7:35 PM

    These guys get a lot of leniency. They do drugs, drink and drive, assault others, heck even get convicted of manslaughter, kill dogs…. And in a little while they are back at work making millions. So….. What’s that about the league being too harsh on these poor guys?

  30. jimr10 says: Jun 27, 2012 7:37 PM

    Roger Goodell works for the OWNERS.. he is not doing anything that does not meet with their approval.. like it or not..

  31. realdealsteel says: Jun 27, 2012 8:01 PM

    craigmaitland says:
    Jun 27, 2012 6:44 PM
    Too much power? All he asks is multi millionaires act like decent human beings. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t drink and drive.
    —————————————————-

    And now he is intimidating Sean Payton not to talk?? And you say that isn’t too much power??? The guy is using mobster tactics now and you think it’s okay???

    Goodall is running a Hitlerisk type of league right now. He is easily the worse commissioner the NFL has ever had.

  32. commonsensedude says: Jun 27, 2012 8:02 PM

    “Here is a crazy thought – Dont screw up and you wont have to answer to Goodell. Simple as that.”

    Uh … unless you do like the Redskins and the Cowboys and violate an “unwritten” rule. So, not really so simple.

  33. conormacleod says: Jun 27, 2012 8:06 PM

    Hines forgot to add; “and the NFL has never been more popular, or more successful, and the players have never made so much money!”

  34. antibenapalooza says: Jun 27, 2012 8:08 PM

    Hines, somebody had to do something after The Devi7 Went Down to Georgia.

  35. dryzzt23 says: Jun 27, 2012 9:01 PM

    Players are learning that apparently the following people have “too much power over them”:

    – drug dealers
    – women
    – liquor store owners
    – bartenders
    – cars that can’t drive themselves
    – strip club owners/strippers

    Oh I forgot it’s “never” the players fault….blah blah blah

  36. elitomanningham says: Jun 27, 2012 9:04 PM

    Wow, mods. Just wow. You’ll let people have usernames like “yssupasigninnamnotyep” and “benstinkyfingers.” You’ll let people troll on players and teams, adding nothing to the conversation while engaging in ad hominem attacks.

    But when someone points out that posters are being inconsistent, hypocritical, or flat out inaccurate, you delete the posts. Sweet Jesus, why? What are your standards? Do you have any? How can you possibly justify this?

  37. blacknyellablacknyella says: Jun 27, 2012 9:13 PM

    yinz peeps are idiots if you don’t understand how goodell is ruining the game. it has nothing to do with penalizing the extreme off-field situations. it has everything to do with suspending players when their helmets inadvertently collide with the helmets of other players, when a defensive back goes airborn to hit an airborn receiver and gets penalized fifteen yards for ‘launching’ himself (is there any other way to go jump into the air?), for going low on a quarterback . . . the knee-jerk rules are a joke and, like polamalu said, is turning the league into a “pansy” league.

    T.O. breaks his foot = no horse collar. brady tears his ACL = no tackling a qb by his legs. three concussions on the same day = no helmet to helmet (and they implemented this IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON). this game was fine until das fuhrer took over. i think he watched Eight Men Out too many times and pleazures himself to photos of kennesaw mountain landis and fidel castro. he needs knocked out.

  38. jsauce821 says: Jun 27, 2012 9:39 PM

    What the players want is a free for all.

  39. eleventyeight says: Jun 27, 2012 9:44 PM

    antibenapalooza says: Jun 27, 2012 8:08 PM

    Hines, somebody had to do something after The Devi7 Went Down to Georgia.
    ===============================

    It’s all fun and games until you’re the one on the receiving end of false accusations by girls with dollar signs in their eyes.

    Stupid and boring comment….

  40. steelersownyou says: Jun 27, 2012 9:47 PM

    Steelers knew what was up…now all you other chump organizations stop crying, and take it right in your dumper!

  41. 84sgl says: Jun 27, 2012 10:36 PM

    Hines, I love you man but PLEASE SHUT UP before James Harrison gets fined for your stupid mouth!!

  42. fsf7 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:44 PM

    contra74 says: Jun 27, 2012 5:00 PM

    Here is a crazy thought – Dont screw up and you wont have to answer to Goodell. Simple as that.

    ——————————-

    Here’s a crazy thought – when a lot of players actually do something wrong – Cedric Benson and Albert Haynesworth – but get no punishment –

    Then others do something that is gets more attention by the media than others – and a fine or suspension comes.

    It’s not quite as simple as you make it.

  43. fsf7 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:48 PM

    conormacleod says: Jun 27, 2012 8:06 PM

    Hines forgot to add; “and the NFL has never been more popular, or more successful, and the players have never made so much money!”
    ——————————–

    Yeah, and let’s thank Roger for all that.

    Seeing how he inherited a league that
    Pete Rozelle
    Oversaw the contentious AFL/NFL rivaly
    Created the Super Bowl
    Created Revenue Sharing

    Paul Tagliabue
    Established the Salary Cap as compromise for Free Agency
    Established a minimum age to enter NFL

    Goodell
    Inherited a league already the most popular league in the United States. You wanna give him all the credit for what many hundreds of others contributed to?

  44. Deb says: Jun 27, 2012 10:56 PM

    contra74 says:

    Here is a crazy thought – Dont screw up and you wont have to answer to Goodell. Simple as that.

    ————————————————–
    That’s not a crazy thought. It’s an extremely naive and uninformed thought … one that’s shared by a lot of naive and uninformed fans.

  45. rc21pgh says: Jun 27, 2012 11:03 PM

    Go Steelers!

  46. larryjames836 says: Jun 28, 2012 12:03 AM

    All you Roger Goodell fans the hammer is on all 32 teams this is why the Saints players are fighting Goodell because of the power he has to hand out harsh punishment because he has that power. I don’t care what you Goodell fans say Goodell was wrong for that never in football history a player nor coach had a harsh punishment like this. Roger Goodell don’t give a dog butt about who you is just don’t slip his eyes is on every game. Me myself I hope they fire him he not sorry he want to send a message to all leagues don’t mess with him. What’s so bad about it the players and coaches has 10 years of this mess him as judge, jury, and hangman but everyone putting the Saints down but the Saints going to be the one to take him off the throne the Saints going to find the right court with the right judge that going to bust Goodell bubble.

  47. aahhyeahsucka says: Jun 28, 2012 1:17 AM

    I’m in the middle about Goddell. some stuff I agree with some stuff I don’t. I think he over reaches on defensive issues. Moving the kickoff, Brady type rules basically turning the QB into a glorified punter. I get why, but it changes the game and it sure looks like he’s willing to go overboard with stuff like that. As far as suspensions, screw these whinners. Pretty sure in the Saints case they were aware of what the rules were and were warned. Like someone said earlier, we all have jobs that have rules. If I were to fail a drug test, or get popped sending two pounds of weed to myself in the mail, or was arrested for having hundreds of dead dogs in my backyard (I really could go on here) I would be fired, no appeal, I wouldn’t be able to hold a press conference to announce how mad I am about being caught for what I did, etc. These players should be thankful they get to do what they love for a living and thankful they don’t lose their jobs like we would. Suspensions? More like vacations. Cry babies.

  48. piemasteruk says: Jun 28, 2012 2:09 AM

    The CBA dispute last year left a lot of ugly scars.

    The problem was that by the end the NFLPA were worrying less about getting the best deal for the players than saving face and giving the appearance they had ‘won’. While they pretended to care about disciplinary procedures and drug testing and the like, these were really just bargaining chips to get what they really wanted – more money. The were prepared to, and ultimately did, trade in a whole bunch of rights and power in exchange for a better headline revenue sharing figure they could take back to the players and say “look what we got you”.

  49. kodakinvegas says: Jun 28, 2012 4:19 AM

    Uh guys, no owners, no teams, no teams no NFL. Forget who your bosses are or what your job is? Shut em down, take a year off and start the Big Boy League and get better players, half the price and the crowds will still come. The PLAYERS and NFLPA are pushing to the edge. I say SHOVE BACK and start over. The new guys will appreciate it. If not. Start over again. What a gravy deal and theyre crying? Get a real job like the people that pay your way by buying tickets and supporting sponsors and satellite tv bums

  50. sudz28 says: Jun 28, 2012 6:24 AM

    “Not all 32 voted. The Raiders didn’t vote one way or the other.”

    Nowhere did it say all 32 voted, it just said that out of 32 teams only 1 dissented. If the Raiders didn’t vote, that means they did not dissent.

  51. broncosnative says: Jun 28, 2012 11:20 AM

    Last time I checked, when you are a commissioner, you have the power to control most aspects of a business. Weather its a CEO, GM or any high management, as workers you follow their rules no matter what. If you don’t like it, quit!, otherwise stay out of trouble. Players approved the deal because they knew no matter what, they were losing money the longer it takes to get a new CBA. One thing I know, theres no way an employee talks bad about the company he currently work for publicly without getting his ass canned.

  52. footballchic777 says: Jun 28, 2012 11:21 AM

    The problem was assuming this process would be fair like a courtroom. Goodell, who has appointed (w/players help) himself Judge/Jury/Executioner, seems to forget that if there is a judge decided court case, both sides present their evidence to the judge, openly, in front of each other, so there is NO hidden evidence that you cannot refute. Evidence used in deciding guilt must be disclosed for BOTH sides to see. In this appearance, Goodells decisions would smell of collusion in a court!

  53. musicdude35 says: Jun 28, 2012 3:14 PM

    What if our justice system was just like the NFL. You were just charged with a crime you know you didn’t commit. The jury finds you guilty on witness hearsay and the judge sentences you to life in prison with no possibility of parole. You start to think, “Well at least I have a shot to appeal my sentence.” Problem is the appeals process goes straight to the judge who gave you the life sentence. Do you think he is going to reverse his decision and make himself lose his credibility? Of course not, you just have to accept the fact that you will die in prison. I wish the players would have addressed this before they signed the new CBA and gave Goodell so much power! Well now we have 10 years of unfair rulings, fines, and suspensions to look forward to. Whether you believe the Saints are guilty or not, it doesn’t change the fact that this process is flawed! I can’t wait until your favorite team/player supposedly does something wrong in Goodell’s eyes and then you have to deal with his dictator ruling decisions. If you think this will never happen, you are sadly delusional my friend!

  54. mrmafaka says: Jun 28, 2012 9:44 PM

    Too much power! is he nuts, the Commish should have more power, the NFL is great, but several players need to have their hand held 24 hours a day, and most of them need a Parole Officer as well as a coach, you got a bunch of young hood rats that never had the kind of money, that they will have for a very short time now, in their life. Experience has shown that these bros can’t balance their checkbook, if they can’t do that simple task and live within their means, they have no chance at the real problems in their life, such as connecting with their ‘homers’ that get in their posse, use them up, then move on. thinking about life after football, savings accounts, moderation, telling their homers as well as themselves no. etc etc etc..

  55. pittsburghsteelergal says: Jun 29, 2012 10:18 AM

    you hines ward haters, especailly the one who called him wines ward…. stupid, hines has never whined…. the steelers are a class team, that’s why we are called the steeler nation and no other team in the nfl can say that they have that kind of fan base…. just sayin to y’all….

  56. eggersthejerk says: Jun 30, 2012 5:09 AM

    “Hines Ward: Players are learning they gave Goodell too much power”

    ———————————————————–

    Not even playing anymore and he’s still crying.

    No wonder he’s known as “Whines Hard”…

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