NFLPA plans to fight looming leg pads rule

Labor peace continues to be a relative term.

While there will be no strike or lockout for at least another nine years, the NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to enjoy a relationship only slightly cozier than Kennedy and Khrushchev.

With the league’s owners poised to make hip, thigh, and knee pads mandatory for 2013, the NFLPA plans to file a grievance challenging the change, according to Alex Marvez of

The union believes that a unilateral change in the equipment requirements constitutes an adjustment to working conditions, for which bargaining would be required.

Part of the problem is that the NFLPA contends the league hasn’t provided “firm data” to show that wearing leg pads would decrease injuries.  (It’s unclear what “firm data” would be required other than “common sense.”  Or maybe someone from the union could take a padded knee to a padded right thigh, followed immediately by a bare knee to a bare left thigh.)

It could be that the union is resisting in order to secure some other concession in return.  As a result, the NFL would have been wise to ask for permission to make the leg pads mandatory back in March, when the union was scrambling to ensure that the 2012 salary cap would increase over 2011.

55 responses to “NFLPA plans to fight looming leg pads rule

  1. Lawyers figured out they need more time to draw up lawsuit vs. NFL by former players with hip replacements.

  2. So some players are suing over too much protection (leg pads) and some are suing over too little (concussions)?

  3. All they’d have to do is watch film and see who and who doesn’t have pads during injuries. Then if we see that 60% of people who get injuries aren’t wearing pads, that’d be more than enough evidence for the NFL to say it’s making the sport safer for the players.

  4. There’s an old Matt Groening cartoon of a rabbit emptying a jar over his own head, with a caption “Help, I’m being bitten by stinging ants!”

    The NFL players union is like that – they hurt themselves, and then they complain about the pain.

  5. Players don’t want the limitations that extra padding brings, while at the same time they are going to sue for injuries post-career?

  6. It will be more interesting when players use “common sense” and vote D Smith out; after they realize the salary cap is not increasing.

  7. Why does the NFL always “mandate” stuff that causes the NFLPA to have to fight them? Why can’t they sit and discuss and come to a resolution from the begining instead of one side having to push something on to the other??

    This naxi way of doing things by Goodall and his goons needs to stop. Gzzzzzzz

  8. Hmmm….a union fighting against safety measures for its membership seems pretty hypocritical…..this is should be a sign of the apocalypse……..SmFh……#dumbasses

  9. The union believes that a unilateral change in the equipment requirements constitutes an adjustment to working conditions, for which bargaining would be required.
    Are you serious? The NFLPA is a joke. I could have swore “they were all about player safety and what is right for the players.”

  10. Unions should sue the NFLPA for masquerading as a Union. They are seriously gonna fight pads to help preserve the safety of its members???? What an absolute joke De Smith is.

  11. Does the NFLPA have to fight EVERYTHING?

    That’s what Liberals do. Just wait until they start trying to take SB trophies from the rich (Patriots) and give to the poor (Jets).

  12. I grew up in a labor-friendly, blue collar environment, and to this day I lean that way, even though I am now in managment [shhhhh…….don’t tell MY bosses…] but this is stupid…plain and simple.

  13. Every day these concussion cases grow weaker.

    The NFLPA is fighting the bounty rulings, they fight the suspensions for dirty hits, they fight the rules changes against dirty hits, and now they don’t want to wear leg protection either.

    Goodell is cornering them by their own actions, and that’s good news. Otherwise, this game will die a slow death.

  14. All running backs wear them. What is their objection?

    Please tell me this isn’t just to look cool. Surely there’s a single brain cell among them.

  15. Hmmm, the NFLPA is complaining about a decision and saying that they were not provided with the data to explain why the decision was made.

    Does this sound familiar?

  16. I get why they are fighting it. It isn’t like this is some new thing. How many years has this game been around and now requiring this????? NFL is becoming a joke with stuff like this.

  17. Easy enough solution. NFL makes a rule stating that players need to wear specified safety equipment, or sign a waiver that prevents the player from suing the NFL for any long term effects that may have been prevented by wearing a certain piece of protective gear.

  18. 10 to 1 Nike has some kind of new kevlar tri weave super stitch futuristic blah blah blah that they want to sell.

    **Introducing Nike AEGIS Protection**

    You can use it for football

    You can use it for soccer

    You can use it for baseball……..

    Que the cool music and overproduced commercial….oh and jack up the retail price while you’re at it.

  19. First they argue that the League doesn’t do enough to protect them. Then the League tries to protect them from themselves and the fight it like spoiled 2 year olds. If they want to play without pads, mouth guards and the new helmet designs, make them sign a waiver relieving the NFL of all liability from when they started playing thru the end of their life. Also Nike spends so much time designing supposedly cool uni’s, why don’t they protect their spokesmen and just design uni’s with pads built in, kevlar or maybe some new sci-fi stuff they can create and patent and make the rest of the world think that they need. (See underarmor.)

  20. Why fight pads that make the game safer for players? It is not like the league is implementing a measure that would degrade safety nor are they targeting a specific group within the NFLPA’s membership.

    The NFLPA is acting stupidly. As they fight this safety measure, they are undermining the players’ efforts against the league concerning concussions. This just shows that the league is trying to make the game safer (after lawsuits loom) while the union fights for fighting’s sake…and then, down the road, tries to bite the hand that feeds them. At some point the NFLPA should realize that they could/are being named in lawsuits and that this will deflate any defense they may bring.

  21. This is more well-planned pre-litigation posturing by the NFL and the Players Association took the bait.

    By proposing this, the NFL (the defendant) takes the high ground of advocating “player safety” and the Players Association comes across as being the obstacle to enhanced player safety.

    During trial, the argument by the NFL will be…”whatever we propose to help protect the players, the Players Association is right there trying to block it.” The Players’ Association better watch out. It may become a third-party defendant in this litigation and then it’s gotcha time.

  22. I read some time ago that the real point of these pads is to prevent head injuries when they’re contacted by these body parts. A padded knee to the head is better than unpadded.

    This is part of the concussion avoidance agenda and the players can whine all they want but they’ll be wearing the pads when Goodell tells them to…

  23. I’m so confused………….Player Safety is the big issue in the NFL but the players don’t want to wear the safety gear. How can they besuing for concussions.

  24. lolb23 says: May 21, 2012 5:12 PM

    Does the NFLPA have to fight EVERYTHING?

    That’s what Liberals do. Just wait until they start trying to take SB trophies from the rich (Patriots) and give to the poor (Jets).

    Why so many objections to this? It’s only fair. In fact, each year the teams with the worst record should be spotted at least 2 games straight up. Which teams with the worst records? You mean where to draw the line? ——Yeah, THERE’S THE RUB.

  25. Just so I got this right….the players are suing because they NFL didnt look out for them concerning head injusries. But now they are fighting for the right to incur more lower body injuiris. So………..its not ok to not be able to tremember anything, but no big deal if they cant walk with their kids?

    Got it.

  26. Extra padding on the legs will reduce speed, which is going to take away from the game. Do you think guys like Devin Hester could turn on the burners and cut on a dime with pillows tied around their legs? The NFL keeps trying to kill itself a little more each day.

  27. Boy the NFL and NFLPA are so stupid it’s sad.

    First they are trying to make a violent sport totally safe which is ridiculous. They couldn’t make competitive ping-pong entirely safe if you tried let alone football.

    They are both soooooo worried about players safety yet they have no equipment mandate, which totally defeats the purpose of player safety.

    You want to stop concussions? EVERY player must wear a mouthpiece, even the QB and ALL chin straps must be buckled before each play or the team will be assessed a penalty.

    How many times have you seen players not wearing mouthpieces or have one chinstrap unbuckled and their helmet goes flying?

    There I just saved the NFL/NFLPA 20 million dollars on another concussion study.

  28. Normally I side with the Union, but mandated safety equipment isn’t something they should fight (unless the equipment doesn’t work and actually makes them less safe).

    What’s really interesting is how the right-wing trolls have responded to this story.

    Normally the right wingers would get angry and say the NFL is trying to create a regulatory nanny state, but always taking the opposite side of the union (no matter what issue) must be a more important principle.

  29. De Smith and the NFLPA are absolutely unbelievable. The NFLPA leads the charge against the owners and the league in concussion lawsuits. But, when the league asks the players to change – stop head-hunting, stop hitting the QB high, wear more pads to be safer, and stop paying bounties to try and end each other’s careers, the NFLPA fights them on every single front. Players, you’re getting exactly what you deserve for choosing an ambulance-chasing scumbag lawyer to represent you. De Smith is a FOOL and everyone of you is his TOOL. So, by “player safety” all the players REALLY wanted was less practice and fewer workouts…is that right?

  30. BTW – wearing hip and thigh pads doesn’t slow you down that much. They ain’t that heavy – but these WR’s would wear wings on their helmets if they thought it would make them faster. 🙂

  31. “The union believes that a unilateral change in the equipment requirements constitutes an adjustment to working conditions”………..Yeah, it’s called SAFER!!!

  32. Isn’t it possible that the pads cause a movement restriction that might lead to more injuries than the pads relieve?

  33. …and here comes saints fans crying about a lack of evidence. In other news, saints fans refute the earth is round due to lack evidence, and there is no evidence of the holocaust.

  34. Does anyone else see the genius in the league’s policy toward player injuries? Any player who wants to sure them for injuries is going to have to show the league knows about risks and chooses not to mitigate those risks. Yet, in every single case that makes the press, the league has pushed for new rules to minimize injuries that has been contested by the NFLPA and complained about to no end by players who say the league is making the game too soft. Does any player really expect to win this concussion lawsuit when the league had been ahead of the players at every turn in trying to address the issue?!

    This isn’t like the tobacco lawsuits where there was clear evidence that the companies knew about the risks of tobacco for years and lied about it, or made efforts to increase addictiveness. Here, the league can show it didn’t know, but did something about it as soon as they suspected… then the players fought about it and lied to get playing time while concussed.

    This effort to push more rules they know the NFLPA will contest is just part of establishing the pattern.

  35. In an effort to be opened minded about this, the best I can come up with, is that the union does not want to be told what to do by the NFL, they want a seat at the table in determining safety issues concerning their members. From that perspective it makes a bit of sense, the language coming out of the union camp will be something like, “Why should we listen to the NFL about safety, we have a thousand guys suing them right now about violations of our members safety. We should be the ones to make the decisions about how we are made most safe.”

    I do not agree with them myself, but I can see that as the point of view they come with. I think your boss should be able to tell you what to do for the most part.

  36. So they want more money to take care of players health, but they will fight a rule requiring players to wear all the available protective equipment?

  37. “That’s what Liberals do. Just wait until they start trying to take SB trophies from the rich (Patriots) and give to the poor (Jets).”

    So, I guess since I’m a Giants fan, you’re saying I should vote conservative so they can take the Lombardis from the poor (Jets, Saints, Tampa) and give them to the rich (Giants, Steelers, Green Bay)?

  38. Lawyers will never take the high road when there are hours to bill. Common sense says this is a handshake and a pat on the back deal. Toss in lawyers and someone’s selling their firstborn.

  39. Actually east96st, if you actually looked at it from a liberal/conservative perspective, it would be that the rich (successful) teams would be required to take whatever money they didn’t spend towards the cap and then give that money to the poor (unsuccessful) teams so that the poor teams could spend that money to lure in better talent through free agency.

  40. I think the NFL has this backwards … shouldn’t they pushing for the players to be wearing the safer helmets and have thigh pads as a distant 2nd on the priority list?

  41. lolb23 says: May 21, 2012 5:12 PM

    Does the NFLPA have to fight EVERYTHING?

    That’s what Liberals do. Just wait until they start trying to take SB trophies from the rich (Patriots) and give to the poor (Jets).



    I guess that’s why conservatives are trying to climb in women’s vaginas in every wingnut state-house in this country.

    I thought you guys were for “small government”.

  42. If you have ever had a hip pointer or a deep thigh bruise – you will know why they wear those pads. The WR’s think they are immune – until they get hammered.

  43. And the pads are way lighter today than when I played, and they weren’t that heavy waaaay back in the 60’s. Geesh, where’s the beef?

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