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NFLPA warns of “new world” of player investigations

When the NFL decided in the aftermath of the Ray Rice case to disregard the machinations of the criminal justice system in lieu of its own investigations, the league expanded its reach over all players considerably. The NFL Players Association has now warned player agents of the manner in which the league’s powers could be manifested.

Via the Association Press, the union distributed a memo last week to all agents advising them of a “new world of NFL player investigations.”

These investigations can arise not only from a player being arrested or charged, but also from an alleged victim making a complaint about a player directly to the league.

“The NFL has initiated numerous investigations based merely upon phone calls by alleged victims to the NFL,” the memo explains. “It appears that many people are now aware that they can directly call the NFL to levy allegations against players.” (And now even more are aware of that.)

The league denies that there has been a “sea change in the investigative process” since former D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier arrived as the league’s head of security. The truth, however, is that the sea change happened after the NFL’s mishandling of the Rice situation nearly triggered a Commissioner change. That’s when the league decided to no longer defer to the authorities and to conduct their own investigations — regardless of whether a player ever faces criminal jeopardy.

Apparently, this includes investigating misconduct about which the authorities aren’t even aware. Which opens another can of worms, if the league decides not to share what it knows with law enforcement.

The report from the AP makes a big deal of the fact that “social media, texts and emails” will be part of the league’s investigations. It’s almost as if the AP has entirely forgotten the incident known commonly throughout the media as #DeflateGate.

Of course those things could be pertinent to any investigation conducted by the league. The real news is that the league apparently has been and will continue to start investigations based simply on a complaint made directly to the NFL, regardless of whether the alleged victim ever reported the situation to police.

This gives rise to the real possibility of false or exaggerated claims being made to the league. It also enhances the likelihood that players will be the targets of extortion, with a demand for money being made to keep a complaint from being lodged with the league.

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56 Responses to “NFLPA warns of “new world” of player investigations”
  1. pamperpro says: Mar 20, 2017 12:14 AM

    Brady just destroyed his new phone upon hearing about this.

  2. dwaterdog says: Mar 20, 2017 12:23 AM

    So the NFL could look at Ezekiel Elliot pulling down a woman’s top and exposing her breast in public and determine it to be sexual assault.

  3. deneb1973 says: Mar 20, 2017 12:24 AM

    Welcome to the NFL! To be employed you must agree to cooperate with the NFL investigative process without the benefit of Constitutional protections, privacy statutes, due process or representation by competent counsel. The Goodell rule that the NFLPA agreed to based on previous practice and now must contest to stop the obvious abuse of power. The 2-1 decision in the Deflategate case will haunt the civil libertarians for decades. I bet ANOTHER Brady investigation is in the works to satisfy Goodell’s megalomania. The owners may be next!

  4. janneywheels says: Mar 20, 2017 12:34 AM

    Well if the Association Press said it…

  5. TheJStyles says: Mar 20, 2017 12:38 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful idea.

    What could go wrong?

  6. ezpkns34 says: Mar 20, 2017 12:41 AM

    Maybe next time they should read the details of the CBA before signing off on it?

  7. ak185 says: Mar 20, 2017 12:44 AM

    Okay, I’m a little confused. Are you for or against how the NFL treated Ray Rice? Because legally he was fine. But in every domestic violence case that occurs, the articles on this site seem to insinuate that the league is disingenuous in its interest in punishing them appropriately, which usually is independent on the legal system.

    So do you want the NFL to follow the legal system or not? or should they just punish everyone regardless?

  8. redsea1111 says: Mar 20, 2017 12:58 AM

    What would happen if a million people called the NFL to levy allegations against Roger Goodell?

  9. txtuff says: Mar 20, 2017 1:11 AM

    So in other words the NFL is going to treat its players just like any other employer treats its employees in the real world. Got it.

  10. denverscott says: Mar 20, 2017 1:20 AM

    Don’t go to bars all night or do other stupid stuff with questionable people while you employed at a job that is pubic and makes you alot of money. Any sane person could put the bars and hood rats on the back burner for a few years for the chance to retire young and wealthy.

  11. 26predator says: Mar 20, 2017 1:32 AM

    All the more reason for players to distance themselves from riff raff and the gold diggers of the world.

  12. eljefedelmundo says: Mar 20, 2017 1:39 AM

    So the NFL could institute their own death penalty?

    “hey Roge, this new guillotine is malfunctioning- can you come over and take a look?”

  13. rollo47 says: Mar 20, 2017 1:45 AM

    Oh boy, So they’re going all out on this ‘Independent Investigation’ crap. Can’t wait till players start suing the NFL after falsely accused and then suspended for stuff that didn’t happen. It is the NFLPA thou, so they’re prolly blowing smoke out of their backsides.

  14. WESTEAGLE07 says: Mar 20, 2017 1:52 AM

    Wow the NFL has Governmet type leverage over its people (players).

  15. A happy green parrot says: Mar 20, 2017 2:24 AM

    I really miss just kicking back snd enjoying a game.

  16. randomguy9999 says: Mar 20, 2017 3:02 AM

    I don’t know why players are so astounded that they could be held to the same employment standards that all workers in the US, like us, are held to.

    guarantee you that I or anyone I have ever known would be responsible for anything we did that was reported to our employers

  17. reprob8 says: Mar 20, 2017 4:12 AM

    Welcome to the slippery slope.

  18. stipez says: Mar 20, 2017 4:20 AM

    Sounds like a cottage industry to me. I’ll take 100,000 to rescind my claims. What’s that number?

  19. backintheday99 says: Mar 20, 2017 4:22 AM

    Just like being a Police Officer. There are things way worse than a bogus complaint but even if you right and straight, when jealous people or psychos want to invade, they do.

    People make stuff up all the time and it gets investigated. He said, she said is a mark against you.

    Just another example of the 5% of people who ruin it for the 95% that do right.

    Police culture changed big time with Serpico. So now it’s going to take a lot of time to weed them out when if I had to do it all over again, I would help weed them out. Good guys need to weed out bad guys so good guys don’t get caught up in bogus allegations. And they will. And they won’t be happy.

  20. footballisnotthatimportant says: Mar 20, 2017 4:35 AM

    Goodell makes Bud Selig look like a good commissioner.

    What a mess the NFL has become since this dolt has taken control.

  21. derekgorgonstar says: Mar 20, 2017 5:06 AM

    breastghazi

  22. New England>Your Team says: Mar 20, 2017 5:14 AM

    Constitution? Bwahahahaha. Guilty until proven innocent.

    With big money, corporations control the lawmakers, and they control the courts. They can and WILL, do whatever they feel fit. And you will not stop them. The end.

  23. nyneal says: Mar 20, 2017 5:16 AM

    What the NFLPA ought to be telling its members is they’re tired of having their members act like a bunch of street punks and they all need to grow up and act like mature adults.
    The NFLPA also needs to tell its members they’re tired of seeing them suspended for violating the league’s rules — which they agreed to in the CBA — and tired of seeing their members break the laws of this nation.
    They also need to tell them that like it or not, they are a big part of the image of the NFL and that image is what helps line their pockets with money. They should explain to them that the league was not always this popular and there have already been signs that the league is not as popular as it was in the recent past.
    Rodger Goodell is a phony liar, but that doesn’t change the fact that far too many players have done really stupid stuff and they need to knock it off.
    The NFLPA should also remind their members that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right.

  24. cpozsgai says: Mar 20, 2017 5:48 AM

    The era of fake news is in full swing. Now any slighted thin skinned fan or overweight ex can get a piece of the action.

  25. frankstoeknife says: Mar 20, 2017 5:59 AM

    Not enough people take advantage of this. And just so I’m doing my part here is the phone number for Roger Goodell’s office: 212 450 2027.

    If you suspect something going on criminal or otherwise (like cheating that hurts the league), mr integrity Roger Goodell wants to hear from you at 212 450 2027.

    Examples of times he wants to hear from you at 212 450 2027?
    – when the ref’s called the fail mary play
    – when James Harrison steps onto the field (Roger always needs a reason to fine James and now you can help!)
    – when the Patriots win a close game (they’re always up to something)
    – when a brash, talented player speaks the truth into a microphone
    – when the Chief’s do something strategic and not in line with the NFL’s *promote large market teams while sticking it to the little guy* plan

    That said, there are times when Roger does not want to hear from you at 212 450 2027. Like;

    – when an actual, substantiated crime is committed by an NFL player
    – when an NFL player whips his child;s testicles until they’re purple
    – when an NFL player drives drunk and kills someone (Roger is already dealing with one of those no need to report more than one person for the same thing!)
    – when a league yes man uses hgh
    – when a NY team does anything the fans don’t like
    – when BS rules are made up on the spot that hose good players (Calvin Johnson made the d*** catch!!!)

    In the end though, whether you think Roger wants to hear form you at 212 450 2027 or not you should call him anyway.

  26. Rolo Tomassi says: Mar 20, 2017 6:08 AM

    So the NFL is treating their employees just like every other company and corporation in the US.? OK Got it

  27. 6thsense10 says: Mar 20, 2017 6:56 AM

    denverscott says:
    Mar 20, 2017 1:20 AM
    Don’t go to bars all night or do other stupid stuff with questionable people while you employed at a job that is pubic and makes you alot of money. Any sane person could put the bars and hood rats on the back burner for a few years for the chance to retire young and wealthy.
    —–
    With that post I don’t think you or a number of people commenting on here comprehend the main point of this article. With the NFL’s new lower bar for player investigations literally ANYONE could lob an accusation against a player to launch an NFL investigation. Jealous ex, deranged fan, an ex friend you cut off for some reason…..and those are the most dangerous ones because they know just enough private details about a player to make a false claim look plausible.

  28. officialgame says: Mar 20, 2017 7:02 AM

    It works like this with fans; If its “your guy” then its OK, if its an another teams guy then bring on the fines and suspensions. You can’t have it both ways, the NFL is a business and they have legal rights to enforce their rules and have code of conduct. Just be consistent.

  29. bobnyjets says: Mar 20, 2017 7:09 AM

    Guess what kids this happens in the corporate world too.

    If an allegation comes into the “ethics” line against a male of a sexual nature you are guilty until proven innocent.

    And the “proof” bar is a whole lot lower and the ax falls a whole lot quicker.

    You can thank your local SJW or PCer.

  30. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 20, 2017 7:13 AM

    And when they find serial domestic violence as with Josh Brown and Goodell’s office conceals and minimizes it ?

  31. abninf says: Mar 20, 2017 7:17 AM

    The job of unions is to protect criminals.

  32. redlikethepig says: Mar 20, 2017 7:22 AM

    Josh Brown hid his record behind his privacy rights. So did his wife and the police. No one would give any info to the NFL who tried to find out more, but were rebuffed by all. Please stop acting like they knew what was going on.

  33. ricko1112 says: Mar 20, 2017 7:24 AM

    Let’s be honest here. The NFL carefully picks and chooses who they want to investigate. Ray Rice, Josh Brown, Revis, Elliot, Marvin Harrison, etc, had/have nothing to fear. The only reason Rice got in trouble was that TMZ showed us the video that Goodell saw. Without that video, he gets 2 games and is still playing. Brown was initially only given a single game instead of the mandatory 6 because that’s what Mara ordered Goodell to give. Then we found out that Mara knew for some time about the extent of the abuse. He just didn’t care.

    #Captain Integrity

  34. fireroger says: Mar 20, 2017 7:42 AM

    txtuff says:
    Mar 20, 2017 1:11 AM
    So in other words the NFL is going to treat its players just like any other employer treats its employees in the real world. Got it.
    =================
    Really? Any employer who fires you over allegations is just asking for a law suit. Even more so if those allegations prove false.

    Real world my backside.

  35. randomguy9999 says: Mar 20, 2017 7:43 AM

    Constitution? Bwahahahaha. Guilty until proven innocent.

    ————————————————————-

    I don’t get why fans think that players as employees are entitled to due process etc. none of us do, we get canned.

    it’s not a criminal prosecution… it’s an employer trying to protect their business by disciplining employees who have broken the law or given the impression of doing so,

    and yeah, it’s a PR thing and it matters not one bit if it’s true or not, it still damages the team when a player gets in a situation and get accused… they pulled the bonehead move of getting in the situation

  36. dawoger says: Mar 20, 2017 7:51 AM

    How is it that the league takes this position against the players yet turns a blind eye to an owner (Ziggy Wilf) who was fined $46 million for fraud?

    Fraud is not a “victimless” crime!

  37. fireroger says: Mar 20, 2017 7:56 AM

    It’s so much more than simply asking players to grow up. The notion of do the crime, do the time still exists. But it needs to be done impartially AND not above the justice system. Nobody is suggesting the players shouldn’t be punished but whatever notion of justice Goodell has concocted needs to be hacked out. Immediately.

    Worse commissioner. In all sports. Ever.

  38. boxscore20k says: Mar 20, 2017 8:05 AM

    Personally I think the Russians started it!

  39. ajsjr40 says: Mar 20, 2017 8:11 AM

    This is what Deflategate was all about. The power of Goodell to do whatever he pleased. It had nothing to do with deflated footballs or competitiveness.

  40. boblavoie says: Mar 20, 2017 8:28 AM

    A happy green parrot says:
    Mar 20, 2017 2:24 AM
    I really miss just kicking back and enjoying a game.

    ————

    You and me both my feathery friend!

  41. wib22 says: Mar 20, 2017 8:32 AM

    Goodell must go! FIND NOW and remove.

  42. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says: Mar 20, 2017 8:38 AM

    A happy green parrot says:
    Mar 20, 2017 2:24 AM
    I really miss just kicking back snd enjoying a game

    You still can. No one’s making you come here or anywhere else to read these types of articles you’re choosing to do it.

  43. piratefreedom says: Mar 20, 2017 8:41 AM

    ajsjr40 says:
    Mar 20, 2017 8:11 AM

    This is what Deflategate was all about. The power of Goodell to do whatever he pleased. It had nothing to do with deflated footballs or competitiveness.
    —————-

    yes and it may be that the dishonest and corrupt way Greasy Goodel prosecuted that wasn’t just physics ignorant incompetence and vanity, it may be a first move in an intimidation campaign prior to the next collective bargaining agreement to make players willing to give up financial concessions in favor of regaining basic human rights and fairness.

    maybe we can attribute to malice what we once assumed was stupidity. It explains why the league would go after Tom Brady in such a blatantly ridiculous way, it shows that any player can have his reputation tarnished by leaked lies and be forced to accept ridiculous rulings.

  44. teambringitstrong says: Mar 20, 2017 9:02 AM

    Wow. I can see it now. Imma call your first sergeant!!

  45. pappageorgio says: Mar 20, 2017 9:17 AM

    Didn’t notice the media (like this site for instance) call for the NFL to do more in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal. Rice had been sentenced by the courts, but then the video was released and the media was all over the NFL to do more, and better, investigation.

    Now the NFL starts doing more, but the media doesn’t like that either. The media seems to think that the NFL should afford all the rights and due process of the court system, but if they did wouldn’t the result be the same….light penalties, perpetrators getting off on technicalities, and evidence thrown away because it was obtained improperly?

    Should the NFL have to set up little court rooms? And have “trials” compl the with lawyers and judges?

    The bottom line is that pro-football is an entertainment business and that these investigations were set up as a reaction to bad press and a call for action by media outlets…..who are now reacting to the NFL trying to protect itself from that same bad press by staying ahead of the media via tip-line and investigation.

  46. streetyson says: Mar 20, 2017 9:32 AM

    pamperpro says:
    Mar 20, 2017 12:14 AM
    Brady just destroyed his new phone upon hearing about this.
    ——————–
    That was FAKE NEWS! Wells did not (and had no right under the rules) demand Brady’s phone – he merely asked to see any relevant texts from it, to which Brady responded the league already had all relevant texts (and he handed over ALL his emails, which the league immediately leaked to blacken him). Brady only later scrapped the phone after conferring with the NFLPA. Goodell, not finding any clear evidence, falsely put it out that Brady destroyed his phone when Wells wanted it. Hidden in the not-so-small print of the Wells Report is that Wells determined the league determined Brady’s guilt based on incomplete data, ignorance of the Gas Law and pre-supposition of something going on. So, despite the 15-month million$ McCarthy-like witch-hunt, the league’s own witchfinder found no witch, the NFL admitted to Judge Berman they had no evidence, and the 2nd court merely determined the Commissioner can suspend a player anyway.

  47. cribbage12 says: Mar 20, 2017 9:34 AM

    Judge, jury and executioner.

  48. eatme2259 says: Mar 20, 2017 10:24 AM

    Mar 20, 2017 12:23 AM
    So the NFL could look at Ezekiel Elliot pulling down a woman’s top and exposing her breast in public and determine it to be sexual assault.

    ///////////

    It is. If you or did that we could be arrested for sexual assault

  49. hutch2017 says: Mar 20, 2017 10:24 AM

    Isn’t it about time that Pro Athletes have to behave like the rest of us?

  50. belugataxi says: Mar 20, 2017 10:39 AM

    denverscott, you nailed it!
    Any SANE person…

  51. fireroger says: Mar 20, 2017 10:40 AM

    randomguy9999 says:
    Mar 20, 2017 7:43 AM
    I don’t get why fans think that players as employees are entitled to due process etc. none of us do, we get canned.

    it’s not a criminal prosecution… it’s an employer trying to protect their business by disciplining employees who have broken the law or given the impression of doing so,

    and yeah, it’s a PR thing and it matters not one bit if it’s true or not, it still damages the team when a player gets in a situation and get accused… they pulled the bonehead move of getting in the situation
    ===================
    Because it’s not the same. To highlight this point, I could get busted for possession of marijuana and still have a job the next day. Specifically because I could go to court get off on all charges and sue the company for wrongful termination. If that was done on the job your point would be completely valid. But the last time I checked NFL players aren’t beating up women or consuming illegal drugs on the company premises.

    What you and many others fail to glean from this very article is that accusations does not equal guilt. Even more so for people with fame and money. It’s laughable to suggest NFL players to hide from the public in order to avoid putting themselves in those type of situations (which is essentially what would need to happen). Not every accusation is true. It’s really that simple. For that reason alone due process (or something even remotely different from what is in the NFL now) is needed. For the ones that are true they deserve every bit of punishment handed down. But you need to get to the point of making that determination first. And in something more than assuming guilt before the fact.

  52. fireroger says: Mar 20, 2017 10:44 AM

    staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says:
    Mar 20, 2017 8:38 AM
    A happy green parrot says:
    Mar 20, 2017 2:24 AM

    You still can. No one’s making you come here or anywhere else to read these types of articles you’re choosing to do it.
    ===============
    Just like tuning into the game and hearing the broadcasters talk about domestic violence or deflategate for the entire game? Or better yet seeing the laundry fly for a clear non-call from the game you watched previously.

    So no, you can’t.

  53. RegisHawk says: Mar 20, 2017 11:02 AM

    It’s a major corporation which derives its profit, in part, based on the public image of its employees. The legal system has nothing to do with that, so arguing whether they were convicted has any bearing is worthless. This would be closer to a newsman on film acting drunk and disorderly, except that said newsman could lay low for a few years in order to live the reputation down, whereas a football player only has a specific window of time where he can play. So, they can paint it that way to drum up public sympathy/outrage/clicks, but that’s not the reality of the situation.

  54. bkostela says: Mar 20, 2017 11:27 AM

    He said, she said.

  55. TheBrownswillstinkagain says: Mar 20, 2017 12:16 PM

    Sweet lets all call the League office when our team plays someone good and make accusations to get them investigated

  56. Rolo Tomassi says: Mar 21, 2017 4:37 PM

    Ayyy fuuuny
    Shyster lawyers doing shyster lawyer stuff
    Ah haha

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