As the NFL Players Association privately considers potential legal challenges to the new personal conduct policy, the NFLPA has issued a strong public statement criticizing the league’s new policy.
“The NFL owners had an opportunity to show leadership and vision in the wake of the embarrassing missteps by the League office,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement issued to NBC Sports. “Limiting a Commissioner’s power who has repeatedly abused his discretion is a good start, but in light of the NFL’s wild inconsistencies and egregious mismanagement, it does not go far enough. If the only goal of this policy was to appease our sponsors in the short-term to get through this crisis then they succeeded, but they missed an opportunity to bridge the credibility gap with players that is nearing the point of no return.”
The NFLPA has objected to the NFL’s failure to engage in collective bargaining regarding the new personal conduct policy. The NFLPA also has identified to player leadership specific concerns raised by the new policy, including the league’s decision to disregard the Fifth Amendment, the use of paid leave for players charged with certain crimes, and the decision to delegate the initial decision regarding discipline to someone other than the Commissioner.