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Winston thinks higher standard should apply to Irsay and other owners

Winston Getty Images

NFLPA president Eric Winston joined PFT Live on Thursday for an extended and comprehensive and enlightening discussion of a variety of issues.

Inevitably, the question of the NFL’s handling of Colts owner Jim Irsay came up.  And Winston had some strong opinions on the subject of whether players and owners should be treated the same way when it comes to discipline.

“I think to me in a way there should be a higher standard for owners,” Winston said.  “I don’t understand why the discipline for an owner of one of these 32 teams that hold the shield of the league is compared to a 22-year-old kid.  That’s what I don’t understand, is why are we trying to compare?  To me, there should be a much higher standard for an owner, there should be no doubt because I think he represents that team, and that’s what we’ve always said about the shield right?

“To me it’s not an apples to apples situation, it’s a situation where we have an owner who has unfortunately gotten into some trouble and I don’t understand why we’re trying to compare it to . . . a player. This guy is an owner of a National Football League team and to me that should mean so much more and in a way that he should be held to a much higher standard.  And that’s just my opinion of this situation.”

Regardless of how it all plays out, Winston’s constituents are paying close attention.

“Players are looking very closely at this situation,” Winston said. “They’re looking and they’re waiting to what happens.  I’ve fielded the calls and I’ve talked to the guys.  They’re not happy with the way this system works, and they’re not happy with the way the process really works. . . .  These players are going to have a very keen eye on seeing how the Commissioner deals with this and what kind of suspension or punishment, if any, ends up being leveled on Mr. Irsay.”

While Winston believes that the issue of player and owner discipline shouldn’t be an issue of apples-to-apples, he believes that Irsay’s punishment for a first-offense DUI should reflect the same formula that applies to players, who lose two of 17 game checks.

“[If] it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander right?” Winston said.  “If you’re taking away those two game checks, then maybe . . . that same multiple moved across to fit the crime on the owners’ side.”

Again, that approach would merely ensure equivalent punishment between players and owners.  Winston wants the penalty to have a greater relative impact on owners than on players.

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67 Responses to “Winston thinks higher standard should apply to Irsay and other owners”
  1. wawa33 says: May 22, 2014 2:59 PM

    Irsay and Sterling should swap franchises.

  2. thebiblestudent says: May 22, 2014 3:02 PM

    Shut up…honestly

  3. thestrategyexpert says: May 22, 2014 3:04 PM

    I think the Commissioner just needs to be held to a higher standard in general with regard to his job. There’s so many issues that he is not effective in dealing with and he’s not good for the long-term health of the league or the sport.

  4. coachbeck says: May 22, 2014 3:04 PM

    Irsay didn’t sign an agreement with how his own discipline would be carried out. The players did…. Life isn’t fair. When your the boss you make the rules.

    This is precisely why there should not be a players union. The union hurts players by putting them compromising positions. Ie discipline.

  5. mackcarrington says: May 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    Owners don’t receive weekly paychecks. That being said, perhaps the league could withhold a teams total revenue from going into the owners pockets. Parking, concessions, advertising, ticket sales, merchandising. That would be about as equivalent a punishment as one could give.

  6. semperspartans says: May 22, 2014 3:06 PM

    I just wish this Union would go away. Do people making millions really need a union? It’s not like this is UAW type employees we’re talking about here.

  7. tokyofilthblaster says: May 22, 2014 3:07 PM

    If he and the other players really think that, then why wasn’t it negotiated into their collective bargaining agreement?

  8. humptyfratz says: May 22, 2014 3:10 PM

    Goodell held Sean Payton to a higher standard by suspending him for a year. Let’s see if ANYTHING happens to Irsay.

  9. mykpfsu says: May 22, 2014 3:10 PM

    ” “I don’t understand why the discipline for an owner of one of these 32 teams that hold the shield of the league is compared to a 22-year-old kid.”

    Very simple. Far more camera’s are trained on the player than the owner. The only time most people see a NFL owner is quick shots during a game.

  10. gammynomnom says: May 22, 2014 3:10 PM

    well, I remember the league fined Wade Wilson, who was then a QB coach for taking PED’s under a Drs supervision for his type 2 diabetes. They fined him 100, 000 dollars and suspended him 5 games.

    what Irsay did does far more damage to the shield than a coach taking prescribed drugs or a player bullying another player.

    Money talks. especially to Goodell.

  11. biggerballz says: May 22, 2014 3:10 PM

    how about no one gets punished for anything they do outside the lines. I long for the days of taglibue when all that mattered was football not the personal lives of these people.

  12. thejohnsmith1122 says: May 22, 2014 3:14 PM

    So same thing applies when players break the law or rules? They should be held to a higher standard as well since they play a professional sport and are role models to younger kids.

    Also, a 22 year old is no longer a “kid”.

    Odd that someone who’s complaining of double standards expects double standards for themselves.

  13. robert831 says: May 22, 2014 3:14 PM

    Irsay should not have to answer to the league. He is an owner and unless the other 31 owners feel his actions are detrimental to the league it does not matter. Players are employees, its a huge difference. Irsay is one of Goodell bosses. This is silly to keep talking about and bringing up.

  14. bigjdve says: May 22, 2014 3:16 PM

    The players keep showing that they are don’t understand reality.

    The owners write the paychecks, and as long as they do there is no comparison. Employees are the help. They have different rules. I am not saying that it is right, but it is how it is in the adult world.

  15. weepingjebus says: May 22, 2014 3:17 PM

    Haha, another classic!

  16. guvsta says: May 22, 2014 3:17 PM

    I disagree with Winston. Players are employees and, as such, can be held responsible for things they do which either affect their performance or bring themselves into disrepute. Isray is the boss. If he does something racist like Sterling then you kick him out of the club. I don’t think this is anywhere near that. Winston clearly realises that his career is over, which is why he’s talking tough now.

  17. cheftb says: May 22, 2014 3:18 PM

    and he would be right…

  18. hakunamangata says: May 22, 2014 3:21 PM

    He’s right. Lead by example always seemed like a good plan to me.

  19. pillowporkers says: May 22, 2014 3:22 PM

    Sounds like an immature person pulling the age card for his own stupid decisions.

  20. luz56 says: May 22, 2014 3:24 PM

    Winston makes a good point about owners … and I agree…The NFL is run better than most pro leagues with the proper pay structures, discipline and benefits.. There is no checks or balances when it comes to ownership though… and the same could be said for MLB NBA and NHL

  21. keltictim says: May 22, 2014 3:25 PM

    I get his point, but at the same time a casual fan doesn’t generally know who the owners are. Or care who they are for that matter. The players are the true face of the shield it’s a much bigger deal to the average fan when a beloved player screws up. I’m looking at you ray rice. When an owner screws up to the casual fan it just looks like another rich guy screwed up, except for Alex Keaton most kids don’t grow up idolizing the owners.

  22. hauts81 says: May 22, 2014 3:25 PM

    Irsay needs to be disciplined but this idea of holding him to a higher standard is stupid. The players are in the public eye and are the engine that drives the league. I’ve never seen a Colts fan wearing a Jim Irsay jersey.

  23. wdcskins says: May 22, 2014 3:29 PM

    I like Winston. I like how he came to the defense of Schaub when the Houston fans cheered his injury a couple of seasons ago. I thought he brought veteran savvy and clout to what has been a nightmare O-line in Arizona. I’ve never liked it when the NFLPA active player/presidents have blamed their not being able to catch on with a team as a free agent on their holding the NFLPA prez position (no, Kevin Mawae, it’s because you suck).

    But Winston saying this is not going to help him in that regard.

  24. mkelly534 says: May 22, 2014 3:31 PM

    I do not think that the NFL Commissioner anticipated so many owners getting into legal trouble when he began his tough guy approach t league discipline. Otherwise he may have thought about it more.

  25. jjrs89 says: May 22, 2014 3:32 PM

    Strip draft picks

  26. misterfuji1982 says: May 22, 2014 3:32 PM

    For those saying “Irsay is the boss”, guess what- Goodell is HIS boss, and he has not only the right, but he has the duty to sanction him.

    Go protect the shield, Rog.

  27. afcdomination says: May 22, 2014 3:32 PM

    amazing he got voted in.ask Texans or Chief fans. dang he is one outspoken awkward dude

  28. eghirarduzzi says: May 22, 2014 3:33 PM

    Well I as your average Joe think the ppl Winston represents, aka the “players” should be held to a higher standard as well. Quote, un-quote These guys are players for National Football League teams and to me that should mean so much more and in a way that they should be held to a much higher standard. But are they, no, do they think they should be, no. So Winston needs to look no further than his rank and file to find the ones who do need to be held to a higher standard, including owners !

  29. herkiethehawk says: May 22, 2014 3:36 PM

    What owner is considered a role model for kids?

    Does an owner using drugs put others at risk on the football field?

    players are paid millions for their athletic prowess, but it is pretty clear the majority of them are as dumb as dirt. They need to learn to shut up and be happy they are paid so much to play a game

  30. cgallegos92 says: May 22, 2014 3:37 PM

    higher standards for owners? LOL go tell Your boss that and see what he thinks. the players need to shut there mouth and stop bagging on the ones who SIGN there checks !

  31. lehooper says: May 22, 2014 3:37 PM

    Winston can’t control his own troops

  32. steeelfann says: May 22, 2014 3:38 PM

    Who works for whom? How bout hitting the road, Winston?

  33. herkiethehawk says: May 22, 2014 3:45 PM

    Goodell is not the boss of the owners, the owners are the boss of Goodell.

    he is the pr arm of the owners. If he acts in a manner that the majority of owners did not approve, he would be fired immediately, which shows precisely who is in charge.

    the players constantly ranting about Goodell show how stupid they are.

  34. chi3454 says: May 22, 2014 3:52 PM

    And maybe next time a player gets caught speeding or abusing their girlfriend, they should get held to the same standard as your average joe off the street.

    Life isn’t always fair – these guys need to get over it.

  35. abqhawk says: May 22, 2014 3:53 PM

    Lol… Consider how amusing it would be were the NFL as an org, to purchase and run the Colts. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head w/ respect to rules – and the stress it’d cause! I’m sure there’s some rule not allowing it but still amusing to consider were it to occur.

  36. upperdecker19 says: May 22, 2014 3:55 PM

    Exile him and the franchise to London!

  37. mortyglickstein says: May 22, 2014 4:00 PM

    Winston, Are we talking about crab legs?

  38. imnotsorryisaidthat says: May 22, 2014 4:03 PM

    Irsay inheritated this team from daddy and has carried on the tradition of publicly humiliating both himself and the league,just like daddy,nothing was ever done to papa,why expect anything less for his son

  39. noladat says: May 22, 2014 4:05 PM

    Draft picks! That is how you do it! The teams have closed books no one really knows what they make. So they would fine him 2/17ths of a number no one knows?

    Take picks or cap space or both. If they take cap space it goes to charity and not a sham nfl charity.

    It is not like this is a first time for they guy. It is not like he did not endanger the people of Indy with his actions.

    Oh and let’s not forget about the crook browns owner he should have something comming his way also!

  40. pftcensor1 says: May 22, 2014 4:12 PM

    Considering the contents of the car there are many municipalities that would have seized the car and the cash under asset forfeiture.

    If the municipality that arrested this owner uses that process I would be interested to know if (and if not why not) he was subject to forfeiture.

    Not that it really matters to him in the long run…but would still be interested to know.

  41. dapollock69 says: May 22, 2014 4:12 PM

    If Irsay’s standard was to be higher, he achieved it.

  42. dapollock69 says: May 22, 2014 4:12 PM

    If Irsay’s standard was to be higher, he achieved it.

  43. kxlllxst says: May 22, 2014 4:13 PM

    anyone else click through hoping to see that jameis winston said this?

  44. pem34 says: May 22, 2014 4:14 PM

    This has officially gotten annoying beyond belief – player conduct/punishment is negotiated by the union with the league. The owners have their own system of rule making within the league charter. If they wanted a discipline policy they would have one.

  45. jjackwagon says: May 22, 2014 4:16 PM

    “I like how he came to the defense of Schaub when the Houston fans cheered his injury a couple of seasons ago.”
    ——————————————————-
    Apparently you also like being wrong, it was Cassel and the Chiefs fans. And BTW they weren’t cheering the injury, they were cheering the play as it continued down the field.

  46. sammyias says: May 22, 2014 4:29 PM

    The players have every right to quit their job, just like the rest of us that may work for a company that caters to the owner before the employees.

    Rocket science.

  47. tavisteelersfan says: May 22, 2014 4:34 PM

    As far as Winston’s point that the two should not be compared, I agree. At the top the NFL decided that it was very important that it’s image not be tarnished by having off the field criminal activity associated with it.
    It is a tricky business, because for most industries it is a simple deal, if an employee is in some sort’ve legal issue that is big enough, than that employee often gets terminated. But, the league doesn’t want to terminate these athletes. So it came up with this penalization scheme.
    The comparison might be the owner of a McDonald’s Franchise versus an employee of a McDonald’s Franchise. Irsay’s an owner. If they don’t think Irsay’s behaviour tarnished the image of the league, than, they will have a hard time negotiating with NFLPA next time around that so and so the wide receiver should be penalized.
    Remember all these adults, Ray Rice or Jim Irsay, they are all going to pay the price to society for their behavior. It is just that extra penalty the league has for dragging it into the affari.

  48. psly2124 says: May 22, 2014 4:42 PM

    Stupid argument. The players have gotten so out of control that something needed to be done. If owners were running around in drive by shootings, raping women, and commiting extremely violent crimes something would happen. It’s an isolated incident. There isn’t a week that goes by in the NFL that a player doesn’t get arrested. One owner got arrested in thr past 25 years. When debartolo was arraigned and convicted he was forced to sell the team. When a player gets arrested for a felony do they lose there position forever and banned for life. Hernandez hasn’t been suspended yet. There is a trial pending same with irsay. See the difference meathead.

  49. padraighansen says: May 22, 2014 4:47 PM

    Think of it this way: Donald Sterling didn’t break the law.

    Jim Irsay did.

    Winston is correct – to a point. It’s not that he should be held to a higher standard, but it should be a consistent standard.

    Goodell works for the owners – he’s a puppet – but he’s the face of the NFL from a management perspective. The NFL needs to drop the hammer on Irsay.

    Optics matter.

  50. sammyias says: May 22, 2014 5:01 PM

    Who will be penalized by Goodell first?

    A) Ray Rice
    B) Aldon Smith
    C) Jim Irsay
    D) None of the above

  51. dublindemonszfl says: May 22, 2014 5:05 PM

    He should be publicly flogged, then stoned. Wait he likes getting stoned doesn’t he. ok just beat him. How dare he drive under the influence and get caught.

    Glass houses, let the court handle it.

  52. atlfan31833 says: May 22, 2014 5:14 PM

    Just wanted to know how many employees in real job situations get to publicly complain about their bosses, think of punishments that need to be given out to their bosses, and then still go to work the next day.

    Wake up people. Here is a NEWS BULLETIN for you…”LIFE IS NOT FAIR”.

  53. stull60060 says: May 22, 2014 5:28 PM

    Earth to Eric. The owner signs your pay checks.

  54. Noel Thomas says: May 22, 2014 5:28 PM

    NFL players have no concept of the real world. Do they understand that they are employees and the owners are their employers? How many of us who work for a living would publicly attack our bosses? If we did we’d be fired because – news flash – THEY ARE THE OWNERS. The own the teams, they pay the bills including the spoiled players salaries. Guys like Drew Brees would be working as a greater at Home Depot or Walmart because he’d be fired at any real job for insubordination.

    Pathetic spoiled brats.

  55. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: May 22, 2014 5:30 PM

    Eric knows that it is 100% sickening the way that the league is handling the Irsay matter.

  56. skunksprayjim says: May 22, 2014 5:39 PM

    When I seen Winston in the headline I thought I was gonna see a comment from Jameis. I was ready to lauh my ass off. Sadly its Eric. Oh well….carry on

  57. raymondtx says: May 22, 2014 5:41 PM

    I agree Mr Winston. Unfortunately, people with money get special treatment in this world. Has always been this way, and will continue to be this way.

  58. jlinatl says: May 22, 2014 5:45 PM

    If Irsay has a decent accountant, and I bet he does, it wouldn’t be that easy to accurately determine his real comp.

    The suspension is the key.

  59. beachsidejames says: May 22, 2014 6:04 PM

    He is an addict and thats a sickness. He needs help to save his life..thats whats important here.

  60. hootie49empric49 says: May 22, 2014 6:24 PM

    I guess Winston, who obviously can’t play anymore, has finally found a job he can do…….a mouthpiece for the union.

  61. citpyrc says: May 22, 2014 6:43 PM

    And to think this is a league that didn’t want Marc Cuban as an owner because of his personality and publicity but they will let an addict in Irsay and a crook in Haslem own franchises. Good job not tarnishing the shield guys.

  62. nicofthenorthstar says: May 22, 2014 6:52 PM

    Totally agree with Winston.

  63. condor75 says: May 22, 2014 8:25 PM

    Irsay didn’t sign an agreement with how his own discipline would be carried out. The players did…. Life isn’t fair. When your the boss you make the rules.

    This is precisely why there should not be a players union. The union hurts players by putting them compromising positions. Ie discipline.
    When century are you from, this is not indentured servitude, stop making excuses for a drudged out drunk just because he has money

  64. foolmeonce says: May 22, 2014 8:40 PM

    Three teams in the past three seasons, and currently unemployed. That’s what being a clubhouse lawyer with diminishing skills will get you .

  65. jmarshalle says: May 22, 2014 10:31 PM

    For those saying “Irsay is the boss”, guess what- Goodell is HIS boss, and he has not only the right, but he has the duty to sanction him.

    Go protect the shield, Rog.

    Goodell is not his boss, he is one of Goodells 32 bosses.

  66. jchuber says: May 23, 2014 1:33 AM

    How can an owner discipline a player for using drugs, when the owner is also using drugs. (or any other rules) Not only is the owner a hypocrite, but he looses every ones respect. And the result is a lack of discipline and team spirit. Some will only go through the motions, because of these double standards.

    Ever wonder why a team has loads of talent, but under achieves year after year?

  67. evrybdyhas1 says: May 23, 2014 6:52 AM

    The Golden rule applies.
    Them with the gold make the rules.

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