The NFLPA has weighed in on the letter sent by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to team owners on Thursday concerning the increased penalties for domestic violence.
The union knew that the league was planning to put a new policy in place under the existing personal conduct policy and their statement shows no sign that they will fight against its implementation generally, but that they will step into individual cases if they feel that the due process rights of their members are at risk.
“We were informed today of the NFL’s decision to increase penalties on domestic violence offenders under the Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees. As we do in all disciplinary matters, if we believe that players’ due process rights are infringed upon during the course of discipline, we will assert and defend our members’ rights,” the statement reads.
The NFL’s letter lays down a firm line against domestic violence that the NFLPA would look bad fighting against in general terms. It is left unclear what would constitute a violation and when Goodell would issue a punishment under the revised policy, however, and that grey area is one where the NFLPA could get involved during specific cases in the future. How much their involvement would matter with the league retaining the right to hear appeals is also unclear, but that hasn’t stopped the union from registering their complaints in the past.