NFLPA’s new motion cites Hardy suspension as evidence of contempt of court

The Patriots may not be willing to fight the NFL, but the NFLPA is. And Tuesday entailed skirmishes between management and labor on multiple fronts, including an aggressive claim that the NFL has acted in contempt of court by refusing to act of the order from Judge David Doty vacating the arbitration ruling in Adrian Peterson’s suspension.

The paperwork filed by the NFLPA, which has been posted online, presents three arguments in support of a finding that the NFL essentially showed up in court wearing a suit jacket not made out of some sort of cloth. Two of the contentions relate to Peterson. The third relates to the 10-game suspension imposed since Judge Doty’s ruling on Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.

The union argues that the NFL disciplined Hardy under the new Personal Conduct Policy even though his behavior occurred when the prior Personal Conduct Policy was in effect. That’s precisely the type of outcome Judge Doty’s ruling in the Peterson case prohibits.

While the NFL has claimed that it applied the prior policy to Hardy, the NFLPA doesn’t believe it, comparing the punishment imposed against Hardy to the discipline imposed against first-time domestic violence offenders under the prior policy — two games. “Whether this was a good or a bad policy, it was the law of the shop,” the NFLPA writes. The union argues that the 10-game suspension represents the new Personal Conduct Policy’s baseline suspension of six games plus four additional games based on allegedly aggravating factors.

The NFLPA also points out that, while Hardy appeals his suspension, he’ll remain on the Commissioner-Exempt list. That’s another facet of the new Personal Conduct Policy; under the former policy, the player remained on normal status until the appeal was resolved.

The union’s 25-page brief also includes quotes from NFL general counsel Jeff Pash during an appearance last month on ESPN’s Outside The Lines. The union contends that Pash’s comments regarding Hardy’s suspension prove that the NFL is applying the new policy, even though the league insists it isn’t.

“The bottom line is that if the League cared at all about complying with the Court’s Order, it would have left no doubt that it was applying the Previous Policy to Mr. Hardy,” the NFLPA explains in the brief. “It didn’t. The only explanation for the ambiguity of the Hardy Discipline Letter is a disingenuous and futile attempt to disguise the League’s contempt for the Court’s essence-of-the-CBA ruling.”

Regardless of what Judge Doty does with this request (and the NFL should be at least a little nervous about it), it’s a brilliant strategy for forcing the issue on Hardy, who’s suspension currently is pending on appeal. Ultimately, the question is whether the league has given Judge Doty’s order the respect it deserves. Between dragging feet on the Peterson re-arbitration and allegedly punishing Hardy under the prior policy, maybe the NFL has indeed defied a federal judge.

19 responses to “NFLPA’s new motion cites Hardy suspension as evidence of contempt of court

  1. NFLPA, there’s a difference between what Brady is going through and what a wife beater has done. You shouldn’t be standing up for Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, or Adrian Peterson. Pick your battles wisely.

  2. No matter that all these guys are completely guilty. Let’s search for some loophole to get them off. Brilliant.

  3. The NFL applied, retroactively, small suspensions or no suspensions when they changed up the drug policy (several players benefited, including Josh Gordon).

    NFLPA was PUSHING for retroactive application of that rule change.

    As with most things union, they want it both ways as long as it benefits them.

  4. Buying your way out of a jail sentence should not buy you out of a suspension too.

    Try to remember that Hardy was found guilty initially then was able to pay his victim off to not show up for the jury trial.

    Let’s face the facts here. If this didn’t involve a top tier player and the Dallas Cowboys nobody would care a bit.

  5. The lunatics are running the asylum. If you don’t want to get into trouble, then don’t behave like a criminal.

  6. Time for the Union to look to the future and not the past.

    Defending trashy, sick, psychotic, criminal, druggie behavior puts them in opposition to decent civilized society.

    Peterson was on the exempt list until he plead guilty to criminal behave in the beating of the sex organs of his child. Due to the appeal of Peterson’s suspension, Peterson was suspended in the offseason and not suspended for any games, unlike Brady.

  7. The NFLPA sticks up for the trash of the league but didn’t fight for retired players health benefits that tells you all you need to know.

  8. The NFLPA is doing their job, but when the job includes defending Greg Hardy they are taking massive hits in the only court that matters…the one of public opinion.

    This is a win/win for Goodell.

  9. The law is the law. You can’t change the law or a legally set policy based on emotion, or public pressure or anger at someone’s action. If you did that, you’d be Roger Goodell. And there would be no law. People would get punished out of spite, or punished unfairly based on whatever mood someone was in, and people in authority would play favorites. Hardy may certainly deserve more than 2 games of suspension, but the real fault there is with NFL for previously thinking 2 games was enough. It may look bad for them, but Doty may force them to use their own standard again.

  10. All this stirring the pot should put the NFL in a good mood if/when they deal with Tom throwing Shady.

  11. If you drive drunk/Under the influence, Abuse a Woman, or abuse a child, you should automatically have a one year, unpaid vacation.


  12. I think most of you are missing the point here. The NFLPA is concerned in the AP case that all the NFL did was show up and ask for an appeal so they could wait out APs suspension rather than deal with it. AP was reinstated April 15th regardless. It’s not about his legal issues, it’s about the NFL circumventing their own arbitration rules. That’s what the league is being held in contempt for. AP pled guilty, that’s a whole separate issue having nothing to do with why this motion has been filed. Go preach on a soapbox in one of the other gazillion posts actually regarding the abuse crime.

  13. yourmomspoolboy says:
    May 20, 2015 2:56 PM
    I think most of you are missing the point here. The NFLPA is concerned in the AP case that all the NFL did was show up and ask for an appeal so they could wait out APs suspension rather than deal with it

    Maybe so. But it’s kind of like the legal maneuverings that enabled Peterson to get off with a wrist slap in the first place.

    It’s all good…if you have the money.

  14. You guys watch the most violent sport but request angles on the field. These guys are far from perfect . A select few may have grown up during college . They play football for a living . Make millions of dollars and have put on a pedestal way before the pros. We create the havoc. If we carried higher standards in sports at the entry level many wouldn’t have these issues today . We rush to judge players when they smell of an issue . I just wanna watch football I don’t really care what one does off the field . The courts can handle that . I watch from the stands or on the couch . Social media has just brought all of the issues that have been around for years to the fore front. If Jerry signs Ray Rice and the boys win a Super Bowl that’s great . If Brady misses a few games and they don’t make the playoffs oh well . Everyone just needs to relax.

  15. the biggest problem with all of this is the justice system that jailed none of these people….the nfl is a brand but nowhere anywhere is it a requirement that they be role-models or anything of the ilk….do your jobs parents….its easy to throw stones no matter the size

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.