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NFL says union is creating a false impression of discipline discussions

Executive director of the NFL Players Association Smith and NFL Commissioner Goodell speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington Reuters

The NFL disagrees with the players’ union’s contention that the league has changed course in talks about potentially changing the league’s disciplinary process.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to the union’s executive committee and said that the NFL has taken “a massive step backwards from where negotiations stood several weeks ago.”

But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the union is trying “to create a false public impression of our discussions.” The league says the union is just posturing and not trying to find common ground for both sides to improve the disciplinary process.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated that he’s open to changing his own role in the disciplinary process, but at today’s league meeting he reiterated that he wants negotiations with the union about changing his role to happen in private, not in public.

“I said at the Super Bowl that we’re not going to negotiate positions publicly,” Goodell said today. “On the other hand, I’ve also been very open over the last several years that we have had discussions about the discipline process for decades. We began after we signed our Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011 to discuss how we could modify the existing plan and we’re always open to that. I’ve said that before. If we could find a better discipline system let’s do it. We are not close to an agreement by any stretch of the imagination on any changes to that as it relates to a third party or other individuals making those decisions, but we are open to them. We will continue to have that dialogue directly with the union and if we can come up with a better system, we’ll announce it at that point.”

At the moment, the league and the union don’t appear close to reaching an agreement.

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57 Responses to “NFL says union is creating a false impression of discipline discussions”
  1. patriots123456 says: Mar 23, 2016 7:44 PM

    I don’t believe one word out of Goodell’s mouth, he has a proven track record and it’s ugly…

    FIRE GOODELL

  2. flamethrower101 says: Mar 23, 2016 7:45 PM

    As much as I put majority of blame on NFL for their garbage, the NFLPA isn’t much better. Their leadership seems inept at best, non-existent at worst. Not just with this but in all other areas, like the financial side – the players’ share of revenue went down through this last CBA if I recall – the business side – why cut agents’ fees??? – and don’t even get me started on their stance w/ the concussion litigation

  3. trailerparkking says: Mar 23, 2016 7:45 PM

    I saw this coming a mile away. The NFLPA, particularly Smith failed in negotiations and lied to the media in order to push their agenda. Smith and Goodell deserve each other.o

  4. kissbillsrings says: Mar 23, 2016 7:49 PM

    More Goodell & his minions double speak…
    I don’t believe one single word that comes out of Goodells mouth or anyone at 345 Park Ave….#no integrity

  5. therealraider says: Mar 23, 2016 7:49 PM

    Goodell was willing to negotiate after Bermans ruling, but his lawyers have convinced him the appeal will go his way. If Brady wins the appeal, the gap of differences will suddenly close.

  6. 6thsense10 says: Mar 23, 2016 7:54 PM

    Any one that believes anything the NFL office says is just plain gullible. I’m serious. How many times do they have to lie to you?

    Tell you what. List all the times the NFL has flat out lied or misled the public and do the same for the NFLPA. In fact I’m having a hard time thinking of when the NFLPA has lied to the public. If anyone here can think of an instance please share.

  7. bigbits2 says: Mar 23, 2016 7:57 PM

    If the players strike for 3 full seasons in order to get Goodell to step away from his nonsensical judge, jury, appeal judge, enforcer role…I’m all for it.
    I’d rather miss football than watch Goodell ramble on like an idiot giving non- answers to direct questions.

  8. rogerWWEgoodell says: Mar 23, 2016 7:58 PM

    At this point who really believes anything at all coming out of the nfl’s offices? I’d have to doublecheck if someone there gave me the time

  9. trailerparkking says: Mar 23, 2016 8:02 PM

    Anyone who believes or claims to believe the NFLPA is a Pats fan or lacks common sense. People who have worked with unions will tell you how the NFLPA has no leverage. It would make no logical sense for the NFL to offer to give up rights or for the NFL to lie here. The NFL has no reason to lie because they already have the rights via a labor contract, why would they lie to protect something that’s already protected by a legally binding contract? What could they possibly gain?

  10. jag1959 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:04 PM

    In a he said she said scenario between a proven and documented liar in Goodell (read the Rice, Peterson and Brady transcripts) and a lawyer/union president the only logical conclusion for most folks is they are both lying. Of course in their respective lines of work it’s not called lying but rather just a part of negotiating and doing it publicly is simply referred to as assuming a posture

  11. Seprix says: Mar 23, 2016 8:04 PM

    This whole debate is the definition of the NFL’s pants falling down in public.

  12. tyconderoguer says: Mar 23, 2016 8:09 PM

    Isn’t this goodall, sort of negotiating with the union about changing his role, public. The self appointed god of the nfl can do anything he wants no matter what he says. Best thing to hjappen is he be GONE.

  13. stexan says: Mar 23, 2016 8:10 PM

    Waders are required for anyone attending these talks. Gas masks optional.

  14. cinzano08 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:11 PM

    NFL makes Ted Cruz look honest

  15. boogerhut says: Mar 23, 2016 8:12 PM

    The CBA was signed by the players union. Goodell has acted within the framework of that agreement. The players union agreed to it so the “I don’t trust the anything that the league office says” stuff is moronic. The players wanted higher caps and they gave up certain things to get it. I don’t ever hear the players saying lower the cap, do you? So yeah, blame Goodell for the players unions mistakes. That’s the new generations mantra, it’s not MY fault. I’ll sue you for my stupidity. It’s only a agreement if I get everything my way. Grow up.

  16. scottbrowning2 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:12 PM

    Maybe yes, maybe no. But who is the proven liar? Roger Goodell…did anyone anywhere believe a word that comes out of his mouth?

  17. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:19 PM

    Given Goodell’s and the leagues constant lies the last few years that have been too stupid not to be caught in, if they’re openin’ their mouths, they’re lying.

    Goodell’s National Integrity League

    Goodell is VILE

    Goodell and his cronies must go

  18. forthegoodofthegame says: Mar 23, 2016 8:33 PM

    Of course. Anyone who is telling the truth would be creating a false impression when it comes to the NFL league office. Law enforcement should have shown up at 345 Park Avenue when the NFLPA found the $120M fraud.

  19. sportnik2 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:34 PM

    This idiot, Goodell, frames his best player, to please group of juvenile jealous millionaires, who were lucky enough to to inherit enough money to buy an NFL franchise.

    Then he has the audacity to turn around and have one of his minions claim the union is spreading lies. That’s rich, Roger. You must think The average NFL fan is as gullible and blockheaded as the clowns that work for you.

  20. dbradley29 says: Mar 23, 2016 8:36 PM

    Fuhrer Goodell will not stand for these types of shenanigans!

  21. bbwasright says: Mar 23, 2016 8:37 PM

    I feel for the players. Any given week of football season missed is irretrievable money out of every player’s pockets. Yes, it comes out of the owner’s and league’s pockets also. But they know they can make it back in time. Each game missed by a player does not translate into an extra game they can play later – they age and their careers end while the teams and league go on. So, there will ALWAYS be more pressure on the players to cave than on the owners and the league. Most of the owners have a “day job” that earns them enough money to be able to afford to buy an NFL team. Do you think they will hurt if they don’t get the profits from that team for a whole year? Sure, they don’t WANT to lose that money, but it’s not like it will keep them from feeding their kids.

    How will the players ever get a fair deal in that kind of situation?

  22. joefelicelli says: Mar 23, 2016 8:39 PM

    harrisonhits2 says:
    Mar 23, 2016 8:19 PM
    Given Goodell’s and the leagues constant lies the last few years that have been too stupid not to be caught in, if they’re openin’ their mouths, they’re lying.

    Goodell’s National Integrity League

    Goodell is VILE

    Goodell and his cronies must go
    —————————————————————–

    Goodell IS the cronie…he works for the 32 owners, and is just their mouthpiece. Do you really think he is doing any of this without their approval? He is the target for the media and NFLPA while the owners coast on through to make their millions and millions of dollars.

  23. rportkid says: Mar 23, 2016 8:51 PM

    Goodell is a serial liar, an incompetent buffoon, and a slimey snake that cannot be trusted. Other than that he’s a pretty good commish!

  24. ebdug says: Mar 23, 2016 8:52 PM

    Do these guys get together just to amuse us?

  25. j0esixpack says: Mar 23, 2016 9:01 PM

    Article VIII of the NFL bylaws state that the commissioner “shall be a person of unquestioned integrity”

    There isn’t a person involved in the NFL who’s integrity is MORE questioned than Goodell

    So basically Goodell wants the players to follow the rules but he and the owners refuse to do so themselves

    Remove the tarnish to the shield. Restore integrity to the game.

    Fire Goodell – the Kim Jong-Un of Sports Commissioners

  26. 6thsense10 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:04 PM

    boogerhut says:
    Mar 23, 2016 8:12 PM
    The CBA was signed by the players union. Goodell has acted within the framework of that agreement. The players union agreed to it so the “I don’t trust the anything that the league office says” stuff is moronic. The players wanted higher caps and they gave up certain things to get it. I don’t ever hear the players saying lower the cap, do you? So yeah, blame Goodell for the players unions mistakes. That’s the new generations mantra, it’s not MY fault. I’ll sue you for my stupidity. It’s only a agreement if I get everything my way. Grow up.
    ———
    I don’t believe you know what you’re talking about. The CBA is a contract. If you truly believe that Goodell has always acted within the scope of the contract can you please explain to us how in the world he keeps getting over turned in court? If the player’s case is as frivolous as you seem to believe there is no way possible that Goodell would lose case after case after case. And you know when that happens the court is essentially saying Goodell acted outside the scope of the contract don’t you? Obviously not.

  27. cinzano08 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:06 PM

    NFL stole over 100 million, got caught. Did anyone get disciplined?

  28. trailerparkking says: Mar 23, 2016 9:13 PM

    Boogerhut is spot on. The number of thumbs downs are astounding, a lot of ignorant readers here…

  29. bartpkelly says: Mar 23, 2016 9:18 PM

    There isn’t a person involved in the NFL who’s integrity is MORE questioned than Goodell?

    How about Brady, Bill, and the Patriots?

  30. jackdaniels1 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:34 PM

    The NFL is crashing and burning right before our eyes with this clown at the helm. Games in London, China, Mexico, etc, 18 game seasons, expanded playoffs, 90 year old refs who screw up week after week…this meatball and his absolute power sure is making it harder and harder to watch.

  31. tomrad70 says: Mar 23, 2016 9:46 PM

    This is all about POWER for Goodell. He won’t be giving that up, no matter how badly he’s mishandled it over the past several years, unless the union pays a steep price.

  32. lscottman3 says: Mar 23, 2016 10:37 PM

    I believe someday this goes before a federal court and they rule the NFL has unfair power over the NFLPA via the fact the union members have no alternatives other than to work for the NFL unlike any other union that had bargained their contract and the court throws the entire CBA out.

    We are getting closer to that day

  33. solo681 says: Mar 23, 2016 10:46 PM

    NFL = Notorius Felony LIARS

    It is only natural that Goojelli sees the Union as a obstruction rather then as a Partner in these discussions.
    Arrogant people that hold a position of authority, such as Goojelli, can never let go of power or partner with other more competent leaders. Goojelli is in complete fear that someone else will do a better job and expose himself as the LIAR and THIEF that he is.

  34. Packernet says: Mar 23, 2016 10:47 PM

    The NFLPA is who wants this change, so if they are not willing to give up something then the change won’t happen. It’s called “negotiating”. The NFLPA only demands.

  35. pats14 says: Mar 23, 2016 10:48 PM

    “If we could find a better discipline system let’s do it.”

    Duh….how about a neutral arbitrator. It seems you haven’t looked very hard.

  36. guitarmaninks says: Mar 23, 2016 10:49 PM

    j0esixpack says:
    Mar 23, 2016 9:01 PM
    Article VIII of the NFL bylaws state that the commissioner “shall be a person of unquestioned integrity”

    There isn’t a person involved in the NFL who’s integrity is MORE questioned than Goodell

    I also don’t care for Goodell but . . .
    You are not comprehending this correctly

  37. patriot420blog says: Mar 23, 2016 11:11 PM

    NFL says union is creating a false impression of discipline discussions

    ———————-

    thats funny. how does it feel to suffer from lies?

  38. huh6016 says: Mar 23, 2016 11:29 PM

    Really? Im a football fan not a drama fan, he said she said blablabla, Im about done with the NFL…….

  39. j huber says: Mar 23, 2016 11:33 PM

    I often wondered why the NFL can continually make a major mess out of just about everything they touch including officiating, rules, union, players, sound, teams, …etc and most importantly management, and nothing is ever improved. Sounds like Obama’s do nothing philosophy of leading from behind.

    But if a player makes one single mistake, it’s generally a huge monetary fine. Especially when you consider the lack of time crunch facing the suit, v a couple of micro seconds for players to make a decision and react.

    Seems to me, somebody got something bass-ackwards.

  40. hockeyflow30 says: Mar 24, 2016 12:22 AM

    Is the NFL complaining about someone leaking false information to the media?

    Seriously???

  41. 49er33 says: Mar 24, 2016 12:54 AM

    NFLPA the only thing more incompetent than Goodell and his goons.

  42. jd7920 says: Mar 24, 2016 12:58 AM

    Ha! Like Goodell has a track record of telling the truth and not being self-serving and underhanded!

  43. elitekane says: Mar 24, 2016 1:04 AM

    NFL complaining about NFLPA making false impressions of them when they did that exact thing when they said 11 out of 12 balls were underinflated.

  44. papatoad says: Mar 24, 2016 3:28 AM

    The fact that they even have a players union is dumb imo. Just sayin’. The fans pay these guys to basically try to kill each other out there. If the players don’t like that, then don’t play the game, get a real job like the rest of us losers.

  45. randomguy9999 says: Mar 24, 2016 3:54 AM

    the discipline process is too oriented toward arbitration / letting players get out of their discipline and the NFLPA wants to make it worse

    the NFL needs to crack down on players

  46. insightfulcomments says: Mar 24, 2016 4:20 AM

    Take the Super Bowl from Georgia for their sheer stupidity and remove Carolina from prime time. We don’t want to support hate thinly veiled as theocracy, which is even more offensive to the history of our nation.

  47. sidepull says: Mar 24, 2016 7:31 AM

    Now that’s calling the kettle black,,, every time the NFL utters a word it can’t be trusted to be true. Shake hands w them and count your fingers. Integrity!

  48. iamapatsfan says: Mar 24, 2016 8:20 AM

    6thsense10 says:Mar 23, 2016 7:54 PM

    Any one that believes anything the NFL office says is just plain gullible. I’m serious. How many times do they have to lie to you?

    —–

    No. That’s not true. They aren’t gulible. They are choosing to ignore reality. On par with people who still don’t believe we landed on the moon.

    At this point, you can’t blame it on a quirk of their personality. It’s completely their fully conscious fault.

  49. guypatsfan says: Mar 24, 2016 9:07 AM

    Goodell is the worst commissioner in pro sports, even worse than the NHL’s Gary Bettman. The time is long past for him to go.

  50. maverick2560 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:48 AM

    Ego, ego, ego Roger just can’t help himself. Why do I constantly
    Feel like Roger runs his office like a politician. On this issue he
    states ” he is open to discussion ” while behind the scenes accepting
    no change in position. If true the option of retired federal judges acting as the arbitrar is a very fair solution.

  51. rollthefatchicksinflour says: Mar 24, 2016 9:50 AM

    trailerparkking says:
    Mar 23, 2016 8:02 PM

    Anyone who believes or claims to believe the NFLPA is a Pats fan or lacks common sense. People who have worked with unions will tell you how the NFLPA has no leverage. It would make no logical sense for the NFL to offer to give up rights or for the NFL to lie here. The NFL has no reason to lie because they already have the rights via a labor contract, why would they lie to protect something that’s already protected by a legally binding contract? What could they possibly gain?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Normally I would agree with your logic, but the NFL does have (or had) a reason to lie. A union contract cannot violate other federal laws regardless of whether both parties agree to it and sign it. For example, they could not agree that >40 hours of work by a non-exempt employee would not be paid time and a half. Or that Tool & Die position can only be filled by men. Both clauses violate federal labor / discrimination laws respectively.
    The loss of the first Brady case was devastating to the NFL. The judge basically said having Goodell be arbitrator is inherently biased (this is why the same judge that issues a verdict does not hear the appeal in judicial cases). While the judge did not strike down that clause, it opened the door to a future ruling where the NFL would lose that feature of the contract. Thus, the NFL was more than happy to modify the agreement to save some aspect of their power. BTW, this was the whole basis of the first case, not whether there was/wasn’t any deflation going on.
    On appeal, the NFL has seemingly been successful to shift the focus back to potential obstruction/wrongdoing of Brady. Initial questioning of the panel of judges leads the NFL to think they will win. Thus, they are no longer in danger of losing the triple roles of prosecutor, judge and appeals arbitrator. They no longer have any need or incentive to modify the agreement.
    So to me, I think the NFLPA is telling the truth because it fits the above scenario.

  52. larryodavid says: Mar 24, 2016 10:02 AM

    boogerhut says:
    Mar 23, 2016 8:12 PM
    The CBA was signed by the players union. Goodell has acted within the framework of that agreement. The players union agreed to it so the “I don’t trust the anything that the league office says” stuff is moronic… That’s the new generations mantra, it’s not MY fault. I’ll sue you for my stupidity. It’s only a agreement if I get everything my way. Grow up.

    ________________________________________

    You’re overlooking the part about it being illegal. Multiple federal judges have ruled that the disciplinary and appeals process implemented by the NFL is fundamentally unfair. There is a ton of precedent for this.

    You also overlook the bad PR this gets for the NFL, and the enormous expense (FrameGate’s now up over $20M) to defend a process that is not permitted under US law. I don’t understand why the NFL didn’t implement a panel of retired judges to serve as arbiters for this years ago; man, that would relieve a lot of headaches.

  53. boyso3 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:08 AM

    boogerhut
    Mar 23, 2016, 8:12 PM EDT
    The CBA was signed by the players union. Goodell has acted within the framework of that agreement. The players union agreed to it so the “I don’t trust the anything that the league office says” stuff is moronic. The players wanted higher caps and they gave up certain things to get it. I don’t ever hear the players saying lower the cap, do you? So yeah, blame Goodell for the players unions mistakes. That’s the new generations mantra, it’s not MY fault. I’ll sue you for my stupidity. It’s only a agreement if I get everything my way. Grow up.

    That’s weird cause I don’t remember anywhere in that CBA where it says that the Commish is allowe to lie his ass off. That’s what we’re all talking about. Whether we believe anything this clown says has nothing to do with whats in the CBA. Try to read and focus on the subject. It makes arguing that much easier.

  54. rukkus1 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:50 AM

    boogerhut says:Mar 23, 2016 8:12 PM

    The CBA was signed by the players union. Goodell has acted within the framework of that agreement. The players union agreed to it so the “I don’t trust the anything that the league office says” stuff is moronic. The players wanted higher caps and they gave up certain things to get it. I don’t ever hear the players saying lower the cap, do you? So yeah, blame Goodell for the players unions mistakes. That’s the new generations mantra, it’s not MY fault. I’ll sue you for my stupidity. It’s only a agreement if I get everything my way. Grow up.
    .
    .
    .

    So you are willing to put that much stock into a man who allowed players to commit acts of violence, and dishes out varying degrees of punishment like 2 to 4 game suspensions in similar cases? Then a player like Josh Gordon smokes weed, never publicly destroys the name of the NFL, yet he faces half a year suspension, then a year suspension; and after that year is up Goodell is ignoring policy on his return?

    You’re crazy

  55. maverick2560 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:22 AM

    To comments the NFLPA and NFL ” negotiated ” the disciplinary process. I believe this to be disingenuous. It is my understanding that
    during the last CBA negotiation the cap amount was the primary issue.
    The league locked out the players and had unique economic bargaining power. At the last minute the cap numbers were agreed to. The union then sought to discuss the disciplinary process, the NFL
    refused. The players then voted to approve the deal.
    Although they agreed the players had an economic gun to their head. Remember most players are focused on their own career. The average player career is somewhere between 2-4 years. This allows the
    League to call the shots.

  56. machobob says: Mar 24, 2016 11:44 AM

    Headline: “NFL says….” I sort of chuckled when I read that, but it is really very sad that we have to be rightfully skeptical of whatever comes out of that office.

  57. TheDPR says: Mar 24, 2016 12:23 PM

    Why is Goodell opposed to the public knowing what goes on in their negotiations? Might he have something to hide?

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