NFL wants one-game deactivation with pay after any DUI arrest

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As the NFL and NFLPA continue to not have a deal on a new, comprehensive drug policy, some more facts have emerged regarding what the league specifically has proposed.

As to the claim that the NFL wants players to be suspended for DUI arrests before their legal cases have ended, a source with knowledge of the negotiations tells PFT that the NFL has proposed a one-game deactivation with pay for the next game after any DUI arrest.  It’s not a suspension, and there would be no forfeiture of salary.

Also, the proposal would apply not only to players but also to any other team or league employees, including owners.

That’s a far more reasonable stance than the imposition of actual financial punishment before a case has been adjudicated.

Another sticking point remains regarding the NFL’s desire for a minimum two-game suspension for a first-offense DUI, following the conclusion of the legal process.  It’s currently unclear whether the NFLPA would accept that term.

Whatever happens, it’s highly unlikely that suspended players will be unsuspended for Week One.  By Week Two, it remains possible.

38 responses to “NFL wants one-game deactivation with pay after any DUI arrest

  1. Sends a good message about how serious a DUI is.
    Sends a bad message about respect for due process of the law.

  2. Interesting view the NFL is taking there. I don’t see a game deactivation with pay being a significant disincentive to players. So, I’m not sure why the league wants it, except to appear serious about the issue to MADD and other groups.

    On the HGH side, I’m not sure why the players would agree to it without the league giving up something significant – like all but eliminating penalties for marijuana use (whether medical or recreational).

    The change to marijuana metabolite level testing proposed seems too small. At last report it was something lower than MLB’s level – which is just 1/3 of the IADA level.

  3. Apparently their earlier proposal was to have the player go to twitter and type #mybad

    Nice job NFLPA.

  4. I’m NOT in favor of driving under the influence, not by any means. But, there’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction. An arrest is merely an accusation – but a conviction (presumably) tests that accusation according to proof. Why don’t they base the suspension on a conviction?

    Goodell has a lynch mob mentality — often an emotionally based shoot first, and ask questions later approach. It leads to absurd, arbitrary and inconsistent penalties, fines and suspensions either meted out (or not).

    Imagine if any of us were charged with a crime, and the Judge stated he didn’t want to examine the evidence — you were simply guilty because someone said so?

  5. Deactivating one game with pay may not get the attention of the arrested player wallet-wise but it may hurt his team. Will that be motivation (punishment) enough to act a deterrent?

  6. Let’s just compromise while keeping a little due process in effect….

    NFLPA, give the NFL the 2-game suspension. It is currently just a fine for first-time offenders.

    NFL, drop the 1 game deactivation with pay demand in the spirit of both due process and collective bargaining.

    Can it really be this easy??

  7. Let me preface this by saying I’m a white guy – with the current state of law enforcement in certain metropolitan areas, and how affluent African Americans are treated in said areas, why would the nflpa agree to ANY sort of punishment without due process?

  8. I think the problem is that these trials actually take weeks and months. If a guy can get his trial postponsed and continued until after the season, he will, to the point everyone forgets what it was for in the first place.

  9. Deactivation with pay has nothing to do with punishing the player and everything to do with PR. It allows the NFL to immediately hide him from the media and the team from public scrutiny. They can brush the whole thing under the rug for up to 2 weeks and only have to deal with PR implications after they have a handle on the situation.

  10. How many games would that guy have missed that they threw in jail for speeding? Remember that one? The white southern cop vs the rich football player rarely ends well – why would you as a player ever give up your rights??

    The NFL and NFLPA should not be allowed to do this by law, even if they want to.

  11. Most of us don’t get DUIs (although we probably should have). Most of us have jobs where getting arrested would affect our terms of employment. What the heck makes players in the NFL need to have a different standard than the rest? No one has even been pulled over for staying at home during the season instead of hanging at the Scrip club

  12. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Sep 6, 2014 6:55 PM

    I’m NOT in favor of driving under the influence, not by any means. But, there’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction.


    I think this is a very good point. Let’s say there were some law enforcement officials–as a prank of course–who arrest the star player of a visiting team the night before a big game. See where I’m going with this?

  13. NOPE…NFLPA is not going to allow Goodell to convict players and take them off the field until the legal system declares the individuals guilty by the “due process” of law.

    Now Roger wants put himself above the law, removing a player from the field of play before the player is even judged in a court of law.

    Sorry, but United States law is not based on a dictatorship and the Union should not allow Goodell to subvert “due process”…aka: innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    If the individual is found innocent in a court of law, how does Goodell plan to give the player he removed from the field of play for that game…how does Roger give that game time back to the player?

    In Roger’s court of law, the player is guilty until the player is proven innocent. I’m not sure what country Roger Goodell is from but guilty until proven innocent is not how we do things in the USA.

  14. Better Idea,
    The DUI player has a choice,
    No contest or he intends to contest the DUI within 2 business days.

    No contest 1st offense – 1 game susp and paycheck as the fine.

    Contest and lose or plea deal – 3 games and paychecks.

  15. I have no issue with this. If a player gets arrested and tests over the legal limit then he should sit a game to start with. Once the trial or plea takes place, if guilty, then suspended for minimum 2 games I would prefer 4

  16. If the player refuses to take a breathalyzer test or blows over the legal limit than I don’t see a problem with this.

    If the player takes the breathalyzer and blows under the legal limit yet the cops still arrest him, the proposed 1 game sit should not be imposed.

  17. I totally see both sides of this one. Must DUI are pretty routine and deserved, once the news hits the NFL feels public and institutional pressure to act, especially if the facts are well-known.

    But that’s a road you don’t want to go down if they subsequently get the case tossed out…even plead down would give them a legal argument against the league. I mean, if the NFLPA will allow it in the CBA, the NFL can do it. There’s a different set of rules for them.

  18. Just curious…how many of you guys clamoring for a conviction before a guy misses any games think Ray Rice deserves his suspension or even a longer one? I only ask because he has not been convicted. What is the difference here?

    If a player gets arrested for a DUI (say he blew .16, twice the legal limit in most states) and his lawyer gets the charges changed to reckless driving or something similar, what then? We all know he would deserve the suspension for a DUI but his lawyer, many fans and the NFLPA would be all over Goodell for suspending him because there would technically be no DUI conviction.

    My point here is that the punishment from the league should be based on the behavior rather than an actual conviction. Gather the facts, assess what likely happened and apply the standards of behavior accordingly. That is no different than any other business, really.

  19. OK, so, if I want a week off with pay (5-6 figure pay), all I need to do is get loaded!
    WOW, is this a great country, or what?

  20. Great, no due process. Just End The Season Jets-Jets-Jets take the bus up to Foxboro, BB will have Mass. State Police arrest the entire bus to DUI, instant win by default.

  21. A lot of talk about due process of the law. Due process through our court system relates to what action a government can take against an individual accused of a crime.

    The NFL is not the government. As a private institution, they can come up with their own standard of punishment and due process. The NFL has investigators, and the ability to gain access to the facts involved in a case prior to a legal proceeding. The league doesn’t need a trial to convict someone of DUI. All they need to know is the blood test results of a player who was charged with DUI.

    Basing decisions on the legal system had it’s own inherent flaws. If a player takes a plea deal, should the punishment he receives be based on the deal, or what he actually did. Also, what if the player got off because of a technicality, despite facing strong evidence of his guilt. Should that make him immune to discipline from the league?

    Most employers have their own standards for employee conduct, and don’t rely on the court system to decide for them whether or not an employee has violated the companies acceptable level of conduct. Why should the NFL be any different?

  22. So a disgruntled cop who happens to be a fan of X team can now get a player from the opposing team “deactivated” just by arresting him for “suspicion of DUI?”

    Sounds like a great idea.

  23. I notice nobody mentions how money makes due process take a flying leap out the window. This is a way to even the odds, but I’d take the check as well – send it to MADD.

  24. If I get DUI I lose me license to drive . now you want the players to get a slap on the hand. Call this league JFL , JOKE FOOTBALL LEAGUE

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