NFL, NFLPA to meet this week

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In a week that will include fairly little work (especially in those states where deer hunting is a big deal), the NFL and NFL Players Association will carve out some time to get together before they commence carving the carcass of a large bird with intelligence inversely proportional to its tastiness.

Per a league source, the league and union will meet this week to discuss, among other things, potential revisions to the personal conduct policy.  The two sides have met three prior times, with the NFLPA wanting formal “collective bargaining” over possible changes to the policy and the NFL not wanting to make the possible tweaks a subject of formal bargaining.

Regardless of whether it is or isn’t deemed bargaining in the classic labor-relations sense, the players want all appeals of employee discipline to be handled by an independent third-party arbitrator.  The NFL wants to retain the Commissioner’s ability to impose discipline and to handle the appeal directly or to designate the responsibility to someone of the Commissioner’s choosing.

The issue takes on greater importance given the decision of Commissioner Roger Goodell to appoint former NFL executive Harold Henderson as the hearing officer in the Adrian Peterson appeal.  The NFLPA doesn’t regard Henderson as truly independent, in part due to his track record of upholding the NFL’s decisions.

It’s believed that, since 2008, Henderson has affirmed 90 percent or more of the NFL’s decisions in the nearly 90 appeals he has handled under various league policies, with the only widely-known reduction coming in the case of receiver Brandon Marshall, whose three-game suspension was reduced to a one-game suspension and a one-game fine by Henderson.  The union prefers the use of an arbitrator with no connection to the NFL; the league used that approach in selecting a hearing officer for the Ray Rice appeal.

7 responses to “NFL, NFLPA to meet this week

  1. “It’s believed that since 2008 Henderson has affirmed 90% or more of the NFL”
    are you kiddin me “believed”
    cant we get the actual answer and then bury Roger perfectly instead of using conjecture?
    “Believed” leaves a lot to interpretation and by whom?

  2. I am convinced that it is possible for them to find somebody somewhere that can remain independent and free of bias or having a hidden agenda. It could become a trendy and evolved solution for both sides to find a way to construct a mutual bridge of coordinated cooperation in the interests of justice and fairness.

    Go for that for 2 very much needed points.

  3. Of course the NFLPA doesn’t want someone with NFL experience to be the arbitrator, that would make to much sense. Who would know more about how football is played and the operations than someone who’s spent years in the league. If the NFLPA doesn’t want to play ball with the NFL in regards to issues, they should just leave the status quo and suspend said player for actions detrimental to the league.

  4. Henderson’s not required to be independent. That’s why, you know, he’s a “delegate.” The NFLPA is using the media quite well to give the public the patently incorrect impression that the league is not doing something it’s supposed to.

    What the NFLPA is really saying is that they want the terms of the collective bargaining agreement to be different. But the union already agreed to have Goodell, or someone he designates, to hear these appeals. It’s a binding contract. The commissioner is doing precisely what the NFLPA said he could do by designating Henderson.

    It’s no wonder the union spends so much time slinging mud. They’re otherwise outclassed, outmanned–or both–by the league.

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