NFL, NFLPA still at odds over revisions to conduct policy

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The NFL wants to revise the personal conduct policy.  The NFLPA wants any revisions to occur with the confines of collective bargaining.  Like so many other topics in recent years, the league and union can’t agree on how to proceed.

On Thursday, the NFLPA sent a memo to all players regarding the situation, contrasting the league’s stated desire to “get [its] house in order” after the Ray Rice debacle with its current position that unilateral changes can be made to the personal conduct policy, without bargaining.

While the NFL, given the extensive power it already holds over the personal conduct policy, presumably can make whatever changes it wants to the internal review procedures, the league needs the NFLPA to buy in to the changes in order to legitimize them.  And it appears that the league is proposing changes that fail to address the union’s desire for a process that involves a third party having the final say, retaining the Commissioner’s current judge/jury/executioner/appeals court control over the system.

“This union is always disappointed with player misconduct, but from our conversations with our sponsors and licensees, it is clear that the current crisis of confidence is a direct result of the NFL’s mismanagement of those incidents,” the memo states.  “The process for players under the personal conduct policy has to be transparent, fair and firm. Instead, in the span of less than 60 days, we have witnessed panic and inconsistency by the NFL and Clubs on how players are treated. We have experienced a refusal by the NFL to honor an agreement for Adrian Peterson and an introduction of a new process for Adrian that is inconsistent with the existing policies already in place. If a full and fair hearing before a neutral arbitrator is good enough for Ray Rice, it should be good enough for every NFL player.

“Player leadership will not accept imposed superficial changes to the adjudication process for the personal conduct policy that fail to address the fundamental deficiencies of due diligence and due process that led to the recent egregious public exposures of systemic failures.  We remain committed to discussing these issues with the League and the NFL owners and will continue to call on them to recognize collective bargaining as the best and only solution to the issues of prevention, education, due process and discipline.”

The union calls on the players to “confront the NFL’s lack of honesty and failure to comply with the CBA.”  As it relates to the NFL’s violation of the agreement that placed Peterson on the Commissioner-Exempt list, the silence from most members of the media and most if not all players has been deafening.  The NFLPA agreed to allow Peterson to be suspended with pay until his legal case ended, and then when the legal case ended the NFL simply refused to reinstate Peterson.

The revised personal conduct policy requires a clear procedure for dealing with players accused of wrongdoing and for determining any eventual punishment after the player’s case is resolved.  It also needs to eliminate the factors that contributed to the recent embarrassments.  Whether that happens via collective bargaining or not, a new personal conduct policy will have little credibility if it doesn’t reflect changes aimed at preventing the mistakes from being repeated — and at blocking the NFL from doing whatever it wants in any given case.

13 responses to “NFL, NFLPA still at odds over revisions to conduct policy

  1. Only goes to prove that the P/A doesn’t really care about the adverse actions if its members only what they can get out of it. What a revalation! SLIME

  2. I think the NFL looks silly in this one. I get it and kudos to them for trying to fix their issues. However they failed to uphold the agreement they signed. The biggest issue seems to be a completely biased system caused in large by Goodell being the judge, jury and executioner.

    Nothing has been handled in a uniform unbiased manner since Goodell took over.

    People kid themselves that the owners love the game, the fans and the sport. They are businessmen who love money. Goodell has brought them more money then ever. That is why they stick with him.

  3. It’s incredible the level of turmoil between the NFL and the union. And tragically I feel the union’s call on players to call out the NFL for this will fall on deaf ears. The Players either do not care as long as they get paid, or they are literally scared of Goodell and his power.

  4. AP is now a pawn in a different game. AP can play if you let me change the rules moving forward.

  5. When it comes down to it, Goodell’s abuses of power are to blame almost as much as the stupid is as stupid does behavior of some players.

  6. As much as I would hate it its about time for the PA to go out on strike. Hell they probably arent allowed to do so from the last bargaining debacle. The NFL messed both the Rice and AD situations up terribly. Yes, The players made mistakes and they have been through due process in courts. Time to let them play

  7. I am waiting for one of the owners to play a suspended guy. Tell the other owners “enough” and challenge the commish he’s not getting the job done.

  8. I want to know what the NFL is smoking if they think the players should hand over more power to Goodell when it comes to player discipline….

  9. “This union is always disappointed with player misconduct…”
    I challenge anyone to cite an instance where this was demonstrated by the union. The fact is they fight everything, even when they know the player is dead wrong. I understand that unions need to stand up for their members but to place the few dirtbags who cheat or break the law above the vast majority of players who stay out of trouble is backwards.

  10. Well… the NFLPA is a Union.
    Unions are bad.
    so the NFLPA needs to go away because Unions ruin the middle class…
    At least this is what I have been told by fox but then again I am supposed to ignore that and Support the NFLPA Union protecting the players against this money grubbing corporation..
    U know the whole reason Unions exist in the first place….

    So I must say which is in complete conflict to what I have been brainwashed to believe… the NFLPA needs to stand up to godell and dictate acceptable policies because goodell is a nutcase that only does what the Richy Richy owners tell him to do…

  11. They didn’t agree on a specific time to be reinstated from the Exempt List. There is some verbiage in the CBA regarding the time of the appeal, but that is only tangentially applicable.

    The NFLPA is trying to make the situation seem like something it isn’t in order to garner support from the public. This is a problem they often have and it derives from their failure to resolve the conflict of representing one individual player vs representing the entire body of players. The NFL has long since resolved their issue with representing the League as a whole and individual teams.

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