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NFLPA declined invitation for joint concussion protocol investigation

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) lies on the turf after a roughing the passer penalty on Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. The Broncos won 21-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

In the immediate aftermath of Thursday night’s Panthers-Broncos game featuring multiple vicious hits to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL issued an “all is well” statement regarding compliance with the concussion protocol following a blow to the head late in the fourth quarter that left Newton in apparent distress. Now that the league has opted to take a closer look at the matter, the NFLPA has declined an opportunity to join forces with the league toward that end.

Instead, the NFL Players Association will conduct its own investigation, under the authority given to the union by the concussion enforcement procedures. These new rules, implemented for 2016, allow the NFL and NFLPA to conduct their own investigations, with an arbitrator resolving any disagreement regarding whether a violation occurred.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA decided to conduct its own investigation due in part to the league’s premature declaration on Friday of compliance, which raised red flags for the union.

“We take time to evaluate all of the factors and carefully decide when to exercise our right to hold Clubs or the League accountable,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told PFT in response to a request for comment. “Only after a comprehensive review of all of the available facts we decided to initiate this Compliance Investigation.”

The NFL’s statement, while technically accurate, creates the impression that the investigation will be a collaboration. It won’t; the league and the union will conduct separate investigations, and there’s a chance that they will reach conflicting conclusions. If they do, an arbitrator will decide whether a violation occurred.

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11 Responses to “NFLPA declined invitation for joint concussion protocol investigation”
  1. cobrala2 says: Sep 11, 2016 7:28 PM

    Fire Goodell!

  2. losingisnotanoption says: Sep 11, 2016 7:36 PM

    So the League makes their conclusions and then conducts the investigation…business as usual.

  3. sdelmonte says: Sep 11, 2016 7:37 PM

    If someone from the NFL issued a forecast for rain, the NFLPA would bring an umbrella. And start its own weather service.

  4. 6thsense10 says: Sep 11, 2016 7:37 PM

    The NFL and NFLPA trying to conduct a joint investigation is like republicans and democrats in congress trying to conduct a joint investigation.

  5. rejamaro says: Sep 11, 2016 8:00 PM

    How about the NFLPA hold their own members accountable for illegal helmet to helmet hits?

  6. jag1959 says: Sep 11, 2016 8:13 PM

    sdelmonte says:
    Sep 11, 2016 7:37 PM
    If someone from the NFL issued a forecast for rain, the NFLPA would bring an umbrella. And start its own weather service.

    But the NFL would rule the NFLPA’s umbrella did not meet league specifications and not allow them to use it.
    At this point if the NFLPA leadership trusted the league office to investigate whether or not today is Sunday the players should oust them and start over.

  7. 345snarkavenue says: Sep 11, 2016 8:59 PM

    Nobody executes the shoot-first ask questions later approach better than the Shield

  8. sportschatterdotco says: Sep 11, 2016 10:34 PM

    so…who would be the arbitrator?

  9. linvillegorge says: Sep 11, 2016 10:39 PM

    Too bad the union will say nothing about the actions of it’s members. Yeah, the refs weren’t throwing the flags like they should’ve been, but it was still NFLPA members delivering all of the illegal hits.

  10. tnielsen1985 says: Sep 12, 2016 2:01 AM

    Was Goodell generally aware of this scandal?

  11. footballgodtb12 says: Sep 12, 2016 6:45 AM

    Can you imagine joining the NFL Brass, aka “Clowns” and they change the final draft of the investigation or lead it into a direction where Concussions are a figure of your imagination? And the NFLPA signed off on that….wouldn’t happen right?

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