NFLPA plans lawsuit over Hardy suspension

AP

Immediately after news emerged of the Greg Hardy suspension emerged, PFT reported that Hardy will appeal the 10-game banishment.  The NFLPA has another plan in mind, too.

According to Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the union is considering filing a lawsuit on Hardy’s behalf.  Given the preliminary success of the lawsuit filed last year by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after his suspension, it’s no surprise.

Peterson’s victory arose from the league’s effort to apply the new personal conduct policy to behavior that occurred before the rule changed.  In Hardy’s case, the NFL has tried to avoid that argument by claiming Hardy’s suspension arises under the prior policy and procedure.

Commissioner Roger Goodell could take plenty of steam out of a Hardy lawsuit by appointing a neutral arbitrator to handle the in-house appeal.  While he’s usually disinclined to surrender the power to designate a hearing officer, Goodell could be tempted to consider stepping aside, given the decision issued by a neutral arbitrator in the Ray Rice appeal last November.  Despite overturning Rice’s indefinite suspension because it amounted to a second punishment, Judge Barbara Jones concluded that an indefinite suspension would have been justified as an initial punishment under the league’s prior approach to domestic violence cases.

With the NFL carefully pointing out in Hardy’s case that the new standard for domestic violence cases isn’t being applied retroactively to Hardy (even if it is), there’s a chance an arbitrator will endorse the 10-game suspension as something that would have been imposed absent the seismic shift that occurred after the Rice video emerged the day after the first Sunday of the 2014 regular season.

As noted by Hill, the NFLPA also could argue that the league improperly divided one incident into four specific actions, with discipline imposed separately for the various portions of one overall violation.

Regardless of how and where and when it plays out, the NFLPA is confident that a string of legal victories in the bounty scandal, the Rice case, and the Peterson case will extend to Hardy.  Not that the NFL cares; as noted Thursday, the league seems to be much more concerned about avoiding the P.R. fallout of not going far enough than the courthouse consequences of going too far.

33 responses to “NFLPA plans lawsuit over Hardy suspension

  1. Jeeze now you gotta wonder what the Patriots will do to retaliate once those wins are vacated.

  2. There you go, the NFL knows what has to be done with these turds for the future of the league, but the union is against them.

  3. NFL should drop it to a max 6 game suspension.

    Peterson took it to court and won so there is no reason to think Hardy wouldn’t as well. Any competent judge is going to see right thru the NFL’s claim that this would have been the punishment under the prior policy and procedures.

    I almost feel bad for the Cowboys……………almost

  4. Don’t you just wish all criminals (not just privileged athletic ones) had a union with deep pockets to initiate frivolous lawsuits on their behalf?

  5. Goodell makes standard of 1st domestic violence offense, 6 game suspension, 2nd offense full season, 3rd offense banned forever. Then he says screw that and gives him 10. What’s the point of the rule again? Not that I like what Hardy did, but if you’re going to make guidelines, wouldn’t it make sense to follow them?

  6. dude already sat out 15 games last year, however you want to look at it, and now another 10 next season. that makes zero sense to me as to why he should sit out a total of 25 games. other nfl players have killed people (dante stallworth) and sat out less time. I am not saying beating on a woman is acceptable however killing someone should be a more sever punishment.

  7. The NFL has a right to suspend anyone who they feel is violating the law and the image of the league in any way shape or form, with that said theres no uniforminty with any investigation protocols. We had Rice , Peterson and Hardy cases and for the most part they were all botched in some way shape or form. Not to mention the Patriots football situation. They have totally dropped the ball on that as well and leave me no faith in NFL or Goodell for that matter. I used to watch more more baseball then football and I havent watched a pitch be thrown in four years……football will soon follow….

  8. “there’s a chance an arbitrator will endorse the 10-game suspension as something that would have been imposed absent the seismic shift that occurred after the Rice video emerged the day after the first Sunday of the 2014 regular season.”

    Not condoning what he has done, but let’s be real. If this happened before the whole Ray Rice thing, Hardy’s penalty would have been a 2 game suspension, and Hardy would have to buy Goodell a beer after their meeting. The pre Ray Rice policy is a joke and everybody knows it. If they’re really trying to say a 10 game suspension is applicable under the old policy, you’re taking us all for idiots.

  9. That’s a union for you. Commit a crime, make your employer look really bad in public, show no remorse, and be rewarded by union protection.

    This is a prime example of how far society has declined. No personal accountability these days.

  10. The pre-Rice policy was complained about being too tough – look at Aldon Smith.

    There were many times that significant penalties were given, you can use Big Ben and Pacman Jones as examples.

    The thing about all of the suspensions that the NFL hands out, they are without pay. That is why they say and can win about the 15 not counting, it is because they were paid.

  11. You guys need to understand that yes, Hardy did sit out last year but Hardy also got paid 13 million dollars. Now he will pay the price fully of sitting out 10 games, with no pay.

  12. Hardy is a DB. But the NFL has been flaunting the legal system and continues to do what it wants. At what point will punitive damages come into play to get them to change hier behavior?

  13. The old standard is being applied because the incident occurred before the change in standards. That avoids any potential overturning on appeal.

    The suspension is big based on the information the League received regarding the incident.

    The penalty doesn’t match that of other incidents because no two incidents are alike. They are judged on their individual merits and penalized accordingly.

    At most, the appeal may result in a mitigation of the suspension to some degree…likely to 5 or 6 games; but that is by no means guaranteed at this point.

    The NFL PA has no choice but to defend the rights of the players. This is the equivalent of a defense lawyer who is sick of his clientele.

  14. dryzzt23 says:

    That’s a union for you. Commit a crime, make your employer look really bad in public, show no remorse, and be rewarded by union protection.

    This is a prime example of how far society has declined. No personal accountability these days.

    ————————————–

    Hardy didn’t commit a crime. The court system determined that there was no evidence to prosecute. The original conviction was overturned – that means he’s not guilty. I don’t know about you, but I don’t show remorse for things I didn’t do.

    The NFL has overstepped in this case. They looked at the evidence. The DA looked at the evidence. The DA said, there is nothing here that I can convict on or charge him with. The NFL said, Let’s pretend we see more here than the DA. We don’t want to look soft on DV…. Let’s treat him like a criminal.

  15. chrondogg says:
    Apr 24, 2015 10:59 AM
    dude already sat out 15 games last year, however you want to look at it, and now another 10 next season. that makes zero sense to me as to why he should sit out a total of 25 games. other nfl players have killed people (dante stallworth) and sat out less time. I am not saying beating on a woman is acceptable however killing someone should be a more sever punishment.
    _____________________________

    Last season the Panthers (not the NFL) deactivated Hardy. After that, ‘dude’ voluntarily went on the Commissioner’s exempt list, so that he could get paid during his time away from the game.

    Now that the NFL has finished their discovery, they imposed a 10 game suspension. Stallworth was suspended an entire season, which is 6 more games than Kraken. Also, in the past, the NFL has suspended players without convictions (think Roethlisberger).

  16. Good for them. The NFLPA should be very careful about letting these sorts of railroad jobs by the owners happen.

  17. Your headline: “NFLPA plans lawsuit” and the text of the article: “the union is considering filing a lawsuit” say two very different (if not contradictory) things.

    ‘Planning’ and ‘considering’ are not the same at all, so which is it?

  18. The other thing to consider is currently his suspension doesn’t begin until week 1 of the season, meaning he can participate in the whole offseason program with his team.

    If he appeals, he may get it reduced from 10 to 6 games, but the league may say his suspension begins immediately and he cannot report to the team until the tuesday after the 6th game.

  19. The NFLPA really isn’t representing the players very well at all. Their only real power is to strike, and the fans will side with the owners and welcome replacement players if the NFLPA is so stupid. Reality trumps ideology, and the players end up losing. But if the players are dumb enough to keep electing dumb representatives, they’ll lose millions of dollars. Generally dumb guys end up broke anyway, but this hurts the smart ones too.

  20. Does anyone even realize that the original SUSPENDED sentence that the judge imposed when she heard the victim’s testimony AND saw the evidence was…..

    ONLY SIXTY DAYS!!

    The NFL is imposing a sentence 2 weeks longer than a women’s activist judge did – and she didn’t even think he deserved jail time. That’s just crazy.

  21. Omg when it comes down to it who really cares!!! I’m so sick of hearing about everyone’s personal life, who’s gay, who’s smoking weed, who’s doing this and that… I just want to watch football without the pink shoes… I miss madden and summerall.. Football is turning into a soap opera.

  22. PATRIOTSDYNASTYLIVES says:
    Apr 24, 2015 11:00 AM
    “The NFL has a right to suspend anyone who they feel is violating the law and the image of the league in any way shape or form, with that said theres no uniforminty with any investigation protocols.”

    Wrong. This is why they have a “collective bargaining agreement.” You should read up on what that means. To put it simply, the league can NOT just suspend anybody they want for what they consider “damaging their brand” because it’s too arbitrary. Do you really think players should be punished like a sheet in the wind, based on how the public views the incident that time? The guy has shown that he shouldn’t be allowed to pick his own clothes in the morning, much less choose how somebody gets punished.

  23. Even this biased NFL investigation didn’t state that Hardy hit Holder. It guesses that “he used physical force”. I say guesses because they did not talk to Holder and NONE of the witness testified that they saw anything. My guess is that they are claiming “he used physical force” for flexing or twisting to throw her off his person as she attacked him. Apparently Goodell and his clown court believe Hardy should have laid down on the floor and curled up into a ball while Holder kicked and punched him. That’s what I get from the “a woman substantially smaller than you”. The feminist belief that a woman can do anything to a man and a man cannot defend himself in any way.

    The implication that Andy and Barney Fife of the CMPD couldn’t conduct a proper investigation and T&M Protection conducted some in depth investigation without even talking to Nicole Holder is laughable.

    She refused to leave Hardy’s condo until HE called 911,then she left.
    The police on the scene that night did not note any injuries to her.
    She declined medical treatment and did not want to go to the hospital.

    There is no evidence that Greg Hardy did anything to this woman.

  24. I’m not saying a women beater should not he punished. But NFL players pay dues to NFLPA to ensure they keep getting paid. Everyone one keeps talking about NFLPA doing there job without realizing they have already been paid dues for the lawsuits, making sure players are getting fair and reasonable punishment. I’m not pro unions or against them; but if you pay for a service I know I want them to do what I pay for.

  25. “Pro athletes and pimps are the only 2 professions where you can beat a woman and get your job back…disgusting…”

    Ray Rice hasn’t been picked up by a team yet. This article was about Greg Hardy, the guy who was found innocent of assaulting a woman. Try to keep up.

  26. BringBackTheFlex says:
    Apr 24, 2015 3:53 PM

    “Pro athletes and pimps are the only 2 professions where you can beat a woman and get your job back…disgusting…”

    Ray Rice hasn’t been picked up by a team yet. This article was about Greg Hardy, the guy who was found innocent of assaulting a woman. Try to keep up.

    Yeah, OJ was found innocent to!

  27. “Yeah, OJ was found innocent to!”

    So was Brian Banks. Oops! He wasn’t.

  28. Irrespective of the details, Goodell should appoint an independent arbitrator. Because by doing that, it will guarantee a Win-Win for the League.
    Consider that the 10 games is what the League wants, and thinks is being hard-line about it in the PR wars. If the Arbitrator reduces it to whatever, the League can say ‘see, we were tough, but the Union wants a neutral arbitrator and they changed our ruling.’. If the arbitrator upholds, the League can say ‘see, we were right all along’. Win Win.

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