Union fires back at criticism from Troy Vincent

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During a Wednesday conference call introducing the new personal conduct policy, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent dismissed criticism from the NFLPA of the revised standards.

“People who don’t like discipline are those who have committed a criminal act,” Vincent said.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah appeared on Thursday’s PFT Live to discuss the new policy.  Asked for a response to Vincent’s comments, here’s what Atallah had to say in response to the former player and former NFLPA president.

“It doesn’t even warrant a response,” Atallah said.  “I mean, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.  That doesn’t even warrant a response.  I don’t even know how you could come up and say that as a former union president.  The facts are way different than what he’s portraying them to be, and it’s really, really disappointing that somebody’s who’s in that position, as a former player, would say something like that. . . .  Talk about antagonizing the majority of our players who do good things in the community, do great things off the field, and he’s out here saying that players who want a fair process are only perpetrators?  I mean, what is there to say?  It goes to show you the heart of how they view players in general and, frankly, it’s despicable.”

Here’s the full interview with Atallah, which includes a response to the NFL’s belief that, if the players didn’t like the personal conduct policy, they should have insisted on making changes during the 2011 CBA negotiations.

We’ve invited the NFL to make someone available to address the situation on Friday’s PFT Live.

67 responses to “Union fires back at criticism from Troy Vincent

  1. I know I will get a ton of thumbs down, but Vincent is 100% right.

    Name one player, coach, owner or employee that is not in some sort of trouble yet complaining about the new policy (other than NFLPA leaders)

    The majority of those that *could* be affected by the new policy don’t care cause THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO STAY OUTTA TROUBLE!

  2. I think the NFLPA/Union is in way over there heads if this spokesman wants to come out and interpret Vincent’s comments as such….in fact its actually laughable. I wish some current players, similar to the baseball players coming out against steroid use in MLB, would simply speak up and speak there mind about abuse against woman & children! Though I must assume it would not set a very good prescient

    There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that can defend abuse against children or woman…and for them to be constantly defended about there rights, etc…well, it is an embarrassment…and I understand the NFLPA needs to do there job, but not in an effort to “collectively bargain” to get something back in return for these players to agree to a policy that is the correct stance & policy going forward makes absolutely zero sense!

  3. Just because you are chared with a crime doesn’t mean that you committed the crime for which you ar charged. Rmember earlier this year a woman sid that Marsawn Lnch assaultd her? Luckily for Marshawn Lynch, he was in the Seattle hotel room, but had he been at the location where this woman was nd she simply recognizes him and sees an opportunity to get paid he might have been charged for something that he had nothing to do with.

    This is the problem with punishing before adjuducation.

    As far as the paid leave, you cannot compare a cop given paid leave and a player. A cop can be a cop for another 20 years, whereas a player has a finite amount of time that they can play and any time away from the game is held against them, especially at certain positions. Those two do not equate, they simply don’t. With every game they don’t play, each player is one week closer to the winter of their career hen there will be no games to play. The NFL is wrong on this and I wouldn’t blame the players for striking to get this right. In this country we are guilty until proven innocent, and I guess the NFL believes that very thing.

  4. Notice how George said a whole bunch of words without actually saying a thing? Cause he knows Troy’s right. Patrick Willis, Charles Tillman and many others do huge amounts of community work. They ever get in trouble? No. The only players who will be affected by the policy will be the ones getting in trouble. Stupid is as stupid does I’m afraid.

  5. Hmmm…D Smith and the boys are the ones that proposed that players who commit violent crimes against women and children shouldn’t be removed form the field unless they were convicted of a crime.

    The vast majority of players are great men–fathers, husbands, citizens–its the one’s that commit the unthinkable that are the problem. D seems to want the narrative to be that he is against violence but will defend a players right to commit violence and remain playing. This is incongruent logic and indefensible.

    When you don’t have truth on your side, you tend to attack people personally. That’s what George has done here. Troy is right.

  6. Every time an Executive from the NFL or someone in a leadership position at the NFLPA speaks an angel wants to jump off a bridge.

    It’s like watching Congress all over again, which we are all already sick of.

  7. But what is the union offering instead? What are they doing to make the NFL better? What are they doing to better the behavior of their employees?
    Have they made any proposals? Its easy to be a critic of the league. That’s what the press does.
    But the union just talks. They have never offered a better solution to ANY league issue. They just want more for less.

  8. People have lost sight of the principles that this country was founded on. The bill of rights was not instituted to keep criminals from being punished, it is there to keep innocent people from being wrongly accused and convicted. Just like the cops say “if you’ve done nothing wrong then you don’t need a lawyer”. Well there are plenty of innocent people in prison that believed that, until they were railroaded right into the big house. I feel the same way as the poster that used the example of Marshawn Lynch. Luckily for him it was proven he was far away from where this assault took place, or he could have been sitting out, not allowed to play, all because someone wrongfully accused him. And we all know that happens many times to a lot of people. The innocent ones are the ones that need the safeguards.

  9. How does Troy Vincent still have a job with the NFL??!! I see a players strike on the horizon for the NFL. If anyone has the cajones and the money, now is the time to start a new pro football league. The decline of the NFL continues.

  10. godofwine330 says:
    Dec 11, 2014 2:24 PM
    Just because you are charged with a crime doesn’t mean that you committed the crime for which you are charged. Remember earlier this year a woman side that Marshawn Lynch assaulted her?
    —————————

    But Lynch was never charged with a crime. The local police investigated the complaint and no charges were ever filed…Lynch would never have been subject to the new policy. Same w/ the 49er – he ended up not getting charged.

  11. “bigjdve says:
    Dec 11, 2014 2:13 PM
    How is that policy insulting to the majority of the players? If they don’t break laws they don’t even have to worry about the policy.”

    For starters there are guys who don’t break the law, but get accused of breaking the law and this policy could effect them.

    And there’s also the principle of the whole thing. I have always hated the argument of well don’t break the law and then you don’t need to worry about ____________. Why not just have the death penalty for every crime if this is a legitimate argument. Because, hey if you don’t break a crime, you won’t have to worry about excessive force.

  12. mnvikingsfan says: Dec 11, 2014 2:16 PM

    I know I will get a ton of thumbs down, but Vincent is 100% right.

    Name one player, coach, owner or employee that is not in some sort of trouble yet complaining about the new policy (other than NFLPA leaders)

    The majority of those that *could* be affected by the new policy don’t care cause THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO STAY OUTTA TROUBLE!

    —————————————

    I won’t thumbs-down you (what’s the point?) but I’ll reiterate — not everyone ACCCUSED of a crime is guilty. Misidentification (see Lynch) or pure spite could (and has) result in false accusations. It could happen to anyone!

  13. Society has been molded to provoke debate when it’s not even necessary the majority of the time. Clearly, Troy Vincent kept it simple and this response further supports Troy.

  14. “People who don’t like discipline are those who have committed a criminal act,” Vincent said.”

    $$$$$

    And on the flip side to Vincent’s position, I’d add that “people”, read NFL, who for over 20 years fought acknowledgement of player concussions because the NFL didn’t want to compensate players financially, were morally bankrupt. While the NFL actions may not have been “criminal”, they were no less morally irreprehensible.

    I find the NFL, and Vincent’s comments, completely hypocritical, so much so, while listening to Vincent on Mike and Mike this morning, I stopped listening for he was downright repulsive…a total tool for the lie that is the NFL. The NFL is about money…for them…and no one else.

  15. I’m routinely 30 minutes early to work. Mostly because I have other obligations in the morning(kids off to school) that put me down the road from my job 30 minutes early. I have called in exactly one time in two years. However, if my job suddenly implemented a zero-tolerance attendance policy, I would be totally against it. Doesn’t mean I’m perpetually absent or late. Just means it wouldn’t be a fair policy and I would speak out against it for that reason. And don’t give me the “apples-to-oranges” BS responses. Overly aggressive policy is overly aggressive policy that could, in theory, affect any person at any time.

  16. How is it that SF (McDonald), Carolina (Hardy), and Minnesota (Peterson) all followed different paths? McDonald plays and the 49ers say he is innocent until proven guilty and both Minnesota and Carolina take a different route. There is no consistency. The NFL is a microcosm of society and you’re going to have certain individuals do bad things. In society you are innocent until proven guilty. You may not like it but it’s a fairly clean process. Go about your business and let the law decide what is right and take your punishment. What if Peterson had decided to go forward with his case and what if he had won. What if the judge said what Peterson did was bad use judgement but as a first time offender he gets a fine and community service. If that had happened then suspending Peterson for what will be the whole year was unnecessary. What’s needed by the NFL and the NFLPA is more coaching about behavior, money, running with the wrong crowd, and educating these guys on what happens when you do the wrong thing. It all starts with education.

  17. What if someone like Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Luck are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and some Kobe accusations that are false? Would you ever want Goodell to handle any important part of your life who doesn’t know what the truth is and doesn’t take notes? I wouldn’t. If I was an innocent NFL QB then I’d probably pay $5-$10 million of my income to avoid him at any cost.

  18. The players should also allow the police, the CIA, the FBI, the NFL and the local sheriff into their homes unannounced, day or night for random shakedowns & searches. The only ones who would object are guilty parties, correct? If you aren’t guilty you’ve got “nothing to worry about”.

    NFL =

    Nazi
    Football
    League

  19. Whatever. Thumbs up if you’d start j edleman, thumbs down if you’d start j gordon in week 15 of the fantasy playoffs.

  20. If that is the best response George Atallah can give then the NFLPA is worse off then we all thought.

    Simple don’t get into trouble don’t get punished. Afraid of someone accusing you of something you didn’t do. Well then don’t be a fool and be out were those people are at. Those that hang out in clubs and like to party take that risk. You won’t see Manning or Brady complain because they are not stupid and surround themselves with good people.

  21. I agree with Troy. Unions have become nothing more than a stable of lawyers and mouthpieces for the WORST members of the Union. They need to remember that they represent ALL members…not just the ones that commit crimes or violate contracts. It’s the same with UNIONS all over this country. At one time they served a purpose. However, now it seems all they do is represent those in trouble event to the extent it is at the EXPENSE of the other members. The NFLPA is sickening.

  22. Your not gonna antagonize people who don’t break the rules only the ones who are too stupid to break them even AFTER they were warned.

  23. When the angry response to a statement is “it’s so dumb it doesn’t warrant a response” that usually means they have no logical rationale to dispute the initial statement. In this case Vincent is right. Guys that aren’t knuckleheads have nothing to worry about.

  24. NFL’s belief that, if the players didn’t like the personal conduct policy, they should have insisted on making changes during the 2011 CBA negotiations.

    yup.

  25. mnvikingsfan says:
    Dec 11, 2014 2:16 PM
    I know I will get a ton of thumbs down, but Vincent is 100% right.

    Name one player, coach, owner or employee that is not in some sort of trouble yet complaining about the new policy (other than NFLPA leaders)

    The majority of those that *could* be affected by the new policy don’t care cause THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO STAY OUTTA TROUBLE!

    67 53
    ——————————————————————

    Vincent is an idiot. Anyone who thinks that the only people who SHOULD care about due process, consistency and a fair system of legislation and discipline is people who break laws is as dumb as he is.

    Simply put, people are accused of things frequently. Often they are true. Sometimes they aren’t. The rules that govern discipline should be clear, consistent and fair to all.

  26. Umm……. Vincent is right. If you stay away from trouble you have nothing to worry about. what’s so hard about that concept for people?

  27. For those of us in the mainstream a conduct policy reiterates what already the law and guidelines around specific behavior as a supplement. In the NFL its a diaper.

  28. The NFL should get out of the business of punishing players for off-field conduct. That’s why we have courts. Under the new policy Jim Irsay would have been suspended immediately instead of after his case was resolved. Is Goodell going to do the same thing for Irsay’s off season arrest as he is for Greg Hardy’s? I’ll bet we can all guess the answer to that is “no”. Don’t hold your breath for Irsay to face additional time under suspension.

  29. Players are required by contract to do PR and community activities. Most would anyway but some wouldn’t and his comments make it seem like they are all upstanding citizens. Troy is right.

  30. George sounded a whole lot more articulate than Troy Vincent did on Mike & Mike this morning. Vincent has an agenda and is trying to position it like he is for “victims and survivors” while the NFLPA is fighting for child abuse and domestic violence.

    It’s unfair to say that the only players worried about discipline are criminals. NO, they are worried that the only person with authority, Goodell, (and his sidekick without any authority Vincent) can make arbitrary decisions and abuse his position of power. That should be a concern to all players.

  31. Yes people could be falsely accused, however in this policy it states that they will keep the player being paid while still helping them keep a lower profile.

    Most of the examples of the people being falsely accused have not been charged. So they wouldn’t be put on the list.

    The part of the policy I don’t like is the we’ll have our own trial part. It should be from the outcome of the legal case as to punishment or not.

    People seem to forget or not notice that it wasn’t the league that wanted to put AP on the exempt list or Ray Rice on the outs. The public wanted to take their pound of flesh. This policy is indicative of how the public views items, not the league or owners, this is evidenced by the complaints about how the league has glossed over prior Domestic Violence cases. They want the players on the field but more than that they want fans in the stands.

    So keeping a player that is a public pariah out of the limelight and getting paid is actually a benefit for both sides, the easy alternative is suspend or banish the player until the resolution of the case AND THAT would be the bad thing that everyone is now talking about.

  32. What the problem is with this statement is that he only speaks the obvious. It is true that players that do not get into legal situations, do not have to worry. What is not true is that those players support this new policy. First there could be situations where players are wrongfully accused. This has happened often, by individuals that wish to profit from them. In these cases, the league, to avoid public concerns, will place these players on paid leave, until the matter is resolved. Since much of players salary is based on incentives, it hurts the players ability to earn what would be owed to them. The league and teams benefit, but not the players. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? League has become insensitive to its employees that make the league what it is. What the NFL is doing is setting terms that they can negotiate in the next CBA, allowing them to move on these issues for more profit margins to them. I have a feeling that the next CBA will mean a long strike, with the union and players no longer trusting or wanting to deal with then NFL. Owners would have made their money, and can afford a long strike. The players and the fans are the ones that again, the ones that pays the price.

  33. I hope everyone who thinks Vincent is right gets charged with a crime on the basis of a false accusation. If the only people who are charged with a crime are the people who have committed crimes, why do we even have trials? Just go from indictment to prison and skip that whole nasty trial process that takes so long.

  34. The NFLPA is that mom who’s son is a loser drug addict or career criminal that thinks her baby isnt the problem and that its someone elses fault. I dont believe anyone is telling these players to do the following:

    1. Drive Drunk
    2. Use Drugs
    3. Beat Wives
    4. Rape Women
    5. Carry Guns
    6. Shoot Guns
    7. Beat Kids
    8. Drive 100 MPHs in exotic cars
    9. Steal Cologne from Dept Stores
    10. Be out late at night slapping fans who want hugs

    and the list could continue….

  35. bbbmf says: Dec 11, 2014 2:43 PM

    I won’t thumbs-down you (what’s the point?) but I’ll reiterate — not everyone ACCCUSED of a crime is guilty. Misidentification (see Lynch) or pure spite could (and has) result in false accusations. It could happen to anyone!

    myhawks1976 says: Dec 11, 2014 3:13 PM

    Vincent is an idiot. Anyone who thinks that the only people who SHOULD care about due process, consistency and a fair system of legislation and discipline is people who break laws is as dumb as he is.

    Simply put, people are accused of things frequently. Often they are true. Sometimes they aren’t. The rules that govern discipline should be clear, consistent and fair to all.
    =========================

    You are both missing the point. The new policy is for those CHARGED with a crime, not accused of one.

    BIG HUGE DIFFERENCE between charged and accused.

    If you routinely put yourself in a position to be charged with a crime, you should prob rethink what to do in your off time.

  36. To all those claiming the players will or should go on strike.

    The current CBA has a clause prohibiting a Strike or Lock Out during the duration of the Agreement. (After the 2020 league year) Article 3 Section 1 covers it.

  37. NFL is turning into a big JOKE ,who even cares about this league anymore,I was a fan for 60+yrs not anymore. The players and owners deserve each other,they are destroying league.

  38. mvp43 says:
    Dec 11, 2014 3:14 PM
    Umm……. Vincent is right. If you stay away from trouble you have nothing to worry about. what’s so hard about that concept for people?
    ___________________________________
    So then what happens when you are accused of something you know you didn’t do?

  39. The problem is if the union believes or can prove that the league is not following the guidelines specified in the CBA, then they may have an out of this agreement.

    ########################
    To all those claiming the players will or should go on strike.

    The current CBA has a clause prohibiting a Strike or Lock Out during the duration of the Agreement. (After the 2020 league year) Article 3 Section 1 covers it.

  40. innocent people get falsely accused, and without due process they can be convicted…which makes Vincent’s line yet another LIE by the NFL. You don’t need to do anything wrong to be suspended, just be accused.

  41. It’s amazing how quickly some of you want to pile on. This isn’t about the NFLPA condoning violence, it’s about innocent until proven guilty. Let the legal system play out and then throw the book at the guilty individuals.

    And don’t let Goodell and the NFL fool you. They could care less about domestic violence. In 45 cases since 2006, 14 players got a brief suspension (almost all 1 game), 16 received no suspension, and 15 got cut (marginal talent players). The only thing the NFL cares about is it’s image, especially after the huge lie and cover up with the Rice case.

  42. “To all those claiming the players will or should go on strike.

    The current CBA has a clause prohibiting a Strike or Lock Out during the duration of the Agreement. (After the 2020 league year) Article 3 Section 1 covers it.”

    To which the league would argue that the NFL has already violated the CBA which renders it invalid.

  43. Based on everyone agreeing with Vincent on here… if you agree with legalizing weed you must be a pothead then. You can care about what’s fair and due process without being personally effected by it. Especially when this is an issue that should be collectively bargained.

  44. Most of the time, if I think something “doesn’t even warrant a response”, I don’t respond to it, point-counterpoint style.

    Three guarantees in life: Taxes, Death, and someone saying that a statement doesn’t warrant a response and then responding to it anyways.

  45. This is what the NFLPA gets for all of the criticism they gave to the Rice and Peterson punishments. By creating such a fuss and objecting to the reasonable punishments of two players committing indefensible crimes, the NFL has been forced to revise their policy so that they can adequately punish the next Rice or Peterson.

    If the crimes Rice and Peterson committed weren’t worthy of at least a 1 year suspension I don’t know what is, but by objecting to this the NFLPA has forced the hand of the NFL and as a result you may one day get a player who gets unfairly suspended but don’t blame the NFL, blame the NFLPA.

  46. First what is/has the NFLPA done to help this black eye that the NFL has due to the actions of a few players.
    2nd everyone saw something like this happening with the media gave a ponding to the NFL for the Ray Rice situation.
    3rd most of you guys that want “due process” to play out before the NFL punishes players, was the same guys that wanted the NFL to throw the book at Rice/ Peterson/ and McDonald before they was giving “due process”. So stop complaining this is exactly what you guys asked for.

  47. Troy Vincent is right. The NFL is a football league. It’s a multi-billion dollar sports entertainment business. If you’re planning on committing criminal acts, find another job. If you’re a great football player who can live a life free of crime, the NFL is the place for you. If you’re a criminal, prison is the place for you.

  48. The NFL is making it easier and easier for a player based league to start – they better start paying attention the NCAA college player unionization. Who controls the player development, controls the game. By 2020 the NFL may not have a union to negotiate with.

  49. Simple minded NFL office puppet. My guess is many players in the league when Vincent played,as well as now, are as short on critical thinking ability as Vincent evidently is. To allow himself to be put out there with these weak talking points tells me a lot about his intellect. I heard him on Mike and Mike. He actually sounded as though he believed what he was saying. Lack of thought is why these guys, playing the most brutal game IN THE WORLD have the worst collectively bargained deal of the major sports. I guess the effects of concussions is real…..SMH……NFLPA needs to draw a line…they need to stand up…. Sadly, they’ll need a strike to make significant progress on a deal….in my view, they need to get more guaranteed money, lifetime healthcare at least for injuries incurred while playing, they should also push to get money taken in through channels like parking at the stadium, concessions, suite sales, local media contracts, stadium and other sponsorship funds, included in the leagues gross income. This would up the amount that the salary cap is computed on thus pushing more money to the players. They should also never again take a reduction in the percentage of the gross due to players. Anything short of this should result in a strike. The time to strike was actually when the last CBA was negotiated. Many of the most influential owners were at a point in their stadium payments where a strike would have been crippling financially. Jerry Jones is the best example. He was only into his second year of paying for his stadium. The next negotiation is still seven or eight years out. By that time most of these guys will have paid off their stadiums… So the job will be tougher…but it needs to be done.

  50. What is so friggin’ difficult in obeying the law or rules of common decency? What is so objectionable about holding those who do accountable? Society is so out of whack and the NFL is a microcosm of its dysfunction.

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