NFLPA ready to challenge new personal conduct policy


As the NFL owners gather in Dallas for their quarterly meetings, one of the biggest issues on the docket relates to the development of a new personal conduct policy.  The owners are expected to at least consider and possibly adopt new rules for off-field misconduct, which in theory could be unveiled as early as today.

If/when (when) the NFL announces a new personal conduct policy, the NFL Players Association will be poised to react.  Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA immediately will study the new policy in search of any provisions that potentially constitute topics that would be mandatory subjects of collective bargaining.  If the union believes that the NFL has included terms that relate to subjects requiring bargaining with the union, the NFLPA will file a “system arbitration” proceeding under the labor deal, initiate an action with the National Labor Relations Board, or both.

The NFL currently possesses the power to impose discipline under the personal conduct policy and to handle the appeal.  It’s believed that the NFL will delegate the initial decision to a panel of experts but Commissioner Roger Goodell will retain final say over the process.

Other issues relate to the procedures for investigating allegations against players before their legal cases are resolved and the circumstances under which players will be suspended with pay while their legal cases are pending.  If the NFL implements placement on the Commissioner-Exempt list with pay as the standard practice for players accused of certain crimes and declines to give the players credit for time served when the time comes to impose discipline, look for the NFLPA to fight this implicit guilty-until-proven-innocent approach aggressively.

21 responses to “NFLPA ready to challenge new personal conduct policy

  1. ” …look for the NFLPA to fight this implicit guilty-until-proven-innocent approach aggressively.” As well it should.

  2. I am curious as to what the NFLPA does in an effort to prevent their members from even having to worry about facing discipline under the personal conduct policy. It seems that they are always concerned about being punished fairly, rather than promoting the idea that following the law and keeping your nose clean.

  3. Let’s get rid of pro-football and start flag football with no off field policy. Roger Goodell doesn’t need to get paid bc he cannot do his job and so the fans will be happy forever.

  4. Let’s get rid of pro-football and start flag football with no off field policy. Roger Goodell doesn’t need to get pay bc he cannot do his job and so the fans will be happy forever.

  5. the NFLPA finally realized they want a system with checks and balances, instead of 1 dictator deciding everything? Where were these genius’ at the last couple CBA’s?

    NFLPA executives should all be fired, starting with Demaurice Smith

  6. Now that the NFL does not enforce the untucked football jersey during games, the NFLPA solved a major issue.Haha. If they think they can beat the big buck owners they got another guess coming.

  7. Promoting the idea of following the law and keeping your nose clean?

    You honestly don’t think they do that? People are always going to get in trouble. These grown men know right from wrong before they come to the league. Some players are just stupid. Cant fix stupid.

    NFLPA is there to make sure they don’t run the league like a plantation.

  8. Ahh classic unions. Ready to fight moving forward before it’s even announced what the proposals are. They work together so well…The parallels between the relationship of NFLPA/League Office and of Congress is staggering and pathetic all at the same time.

  9. Dont collectively bargain something and then cry about it. They BARGAINED. What that means is that they RECEIVED something in exchange for giving total control to Goodell. If they want to cry about that now then give the authority to someone else BUT also reduce the salary cap and lower whatever other benefits they RECEIVED when they chose to give Goodell emperor status when it comes to personal conduct.

  10. AP abused his kid. Ray Rice knocked out his girlfriend. Yet Goodell has gotten probably 50 times more heat than both of those men. If theres someone who doesnt see how insane that is then please enlighten.

  11. @RomolsGod: excellent point. But we dont like holding people accountable for their actions anymore. Instead society now is always focused on the person enforcing the law/ rules. Two rules to live by. 1. If youre an NFL player and you commit a crime, you may just face consequences at work (perish the thought), and 2. If you rob a store, you MAY get shot while youre trying to get away. Its kind of a job hazard when youre a robber the same way getting in a car accident is a job hazard of a Nascar driver. These arent the messages we are discussing in the media because the en vogue philosophy is to blame the rule enforcer not the rule breaker. Its actually fascinating that this is now the norm.

  12. Wouldn’t it be better if they involved themselves in defining the process rather than complain and fight about everything? They can start by establishing standards of conduct for their membership and not assist players that willingly violate those standards. Decent (behavior) players need to hold the degenerates accountable because they cause the friction between the league and the union.

  13. What is there to fight, the PA gave the league the right to discipline under the CBA.

    If Goodell is going to give the initial punishment to an independent body, then if they were thinking that is better than having them handle the appeal. The rationale should be that if an independent body is doing the punishing that it should never get to Goodell in the first place. However, the whole idea is that no matter what it is, they are going to appeal. So there is no making them happy as they believe they should never have any consequences for their actions.

    With regard to the exempt list, stop looking at that as a punishment it isn’t, the reality is that it is a protection for both the league and the player. Take the 2 cases already there – as soon as both players went on the list, it became more about whether they should play or not and NOT what they did. Which is what is helping AP more than anything now.

    Look at Rice, there is no chance he gets signed anytime soon and he wasn’t getting paid through this process, and there was always a BIG stink about his not getting paid which made the majority of the public even more angry about his crime. With AP and Hardy, since they were getting paid they just complained about playing, he was still getting paid BUT he was on administrative leave so to speak. So right now for AP it isn’t about whether he will play again it is when. That is a huge difference and one that the players should embrace.

    The exempt list (admin leave) idea isn’t about guilty until proven innocent, in reality it is about placating the public WHILE not really hurting the player. There is precedent for this in many other professions with unions – look at the military, police depts, fire departments, and any industry that has to do with the public – if someone does something, they right away get put on admin leave with pay UNTIL the issue has been resolved. The pay thing is the big thing as being paid means they are saying that they don’t know if you are guilty, so they are giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    The biggest issue that I have with this whole mess is that they are trying to attack the league because of the actions of less than 1% of their players. In the end it is the other 99% that are going to end up getting hurt the worst.

    The simple solution is if you don’t like the punishment don’t screw up. And for those saying that well people will break the law, that maybe true BUT we are all held to the expectation that we won’t break them and if we do we look to have stiff penalties, and we only have a limited ability to complain about the judge / jury if any. And there are many times where the same judge that will do the conviction will also handle the appeal.

  14. This could get very crazy.

    The Personal Conduct Policy applies to far more than just the players. It covers “all coaches; all game officials; all full-time employees of the NFL, NFL clubs, and all NFL-related entities; …and other prospective employees once they commence negotiations with a club concerning employment.”

    If the NFLPA succeeds in challenging the stricter new policy Goodell is expected to announce, the stricter new standards would not apply to the players but would apply to all the other people covered by the policy. The older, less strict policy would apply to the players.

    The net result could be that the players are held to a more lenient standard than, for example, NFL officer workers.

  15. Why doesn’t the NFLPA just teach their members NOT TO GET INTO TROUBLE or doesn’t that make sense…..

    As the saying goes – If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!

  16. From what it sounds like, the new personal conduct policy will be a good one. It beats making stuff up as you go, which is what the NFL seems to do now.

    Oh, and the NFLPA is a joke. It’s a professional complaining organization.

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