NFLPA proceeds with arbitration over validity of Commissioner’s exempt list


After the NFL promulgated a new Personal Conduct Policy that included the power to place players accused of misconduct on the Commissioner’s exempt list pending resolution of charges and the completion of a league investigation, the NFL Players Association filed a grievance challenging the ability to remove a player from the field with pay before the player has been deemed to have done anything wrong. That grievance will now proceed to arbitration.

NFLPA president Eric Winston revealed the development during a Wednesday visit to PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.

The grievance regarding the use of paid leave had become an anchor for negotiations regarding the contours of the new Personal Conduct Policy. The league and the union had asked the arbitrator to delay making a decision until settlement talks had concluded.

As Winston explained it, the two sides were making progress toward a resolution that would have entailed neutral arbitration for punishment imposed under the Personal Conduct Policy. The NFLPA contends that the league unexpectedly pulled the plug on global talks and tried to focus the settlement discussions only on the issue raised in the grievance.

From the perspective of the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, the options always had been to reach a global settlement or allow the arbitration over the Commissioner’s exempt list to play out. The Executive Committee has now decided to pursue an outcome from the arbitrator.

12 responses to “NFLPA proceeds with arbitration over validity of Commissioner’s exempt list

  1. I often wonder if the NFLPA put these issue to a vote of the members. A Union represents all its members not just the top tier or the knuckle heads. That is the why the salary cap and the % of earnings works since all players benefit and the Union is in fact a partner sharing in revenue.

    The NFL and the Union would be well served to share authority with player boards when it comes to player safety, drug testing, knuckle heads beating women and animals.

    I would think that the majority of players would support the league initiatives if they had a voice. Initiatives that serve to grow the NFL and the dollar earned that they share in.

    Under the current system it seems the NFLPA is quick to represent the idiots. Let them get their own representation on their own dollar or put it to a vote of the members.

  2. I’m still laughing at these idiotic Patriots fans who think they’re going to sue the NFL.


  3. The NFLPA might be shooting itself in the foot by challenging the exemption list. If anything, the Ray Rice/Greg Hardy/Ray McDonald/Adrian Peterson situation taught us that the public, media, and sponsors apply quick pressure to the NFL to take action against players accused of (some) violent crimes. The exempt list provides a recourse that shows action in removing the player from the field during high profile cases but does not stop the player from earning their paychecks. In lieu of that option, the pressure moves to the owners to have to cut or suspend players from the teams, which kills reputations and hurts earnings potential.

    Giving Goodell the unilateral power to remove players from the field for *maybe* doing something wrong isn’t an ideal solution, since he has been proven less than trustworthy. However, it is what the owners will fight for to keep the heat off of their backs and in the long run could be better for the players than the alternative.

  4. I’m against it too…they should never pay a player to sit out on suspension. The best they should do is collect the money and set it aside; then if the issue is resolved, pay it back to him. If not, it goes to charity.

    Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson made out like the criminals they are.

  5. pixelito says:
    Apr 6, 2016 12:00 PM
    I’m still laughing at these idiotic Patriots fans who think they’re going to sue the NFL.

    That is silly. I’m still laughing at the people who call a guy “a leader” who is afraid to even attempt to recover his own fumble with the SB on the line….

  6. I think the exempt list is a little ridiculous. You can’t suspend someone because they may have done something. Either they did or they didn’t and if they did do something that’s against policy then go forward with the suspension

  7. if the NFLPA wins this argument, then the NFL should start suing players who are found guilty, or make civil settlements in lieu of someone testifying, of something…

    After all, they tarnished the NFLs name by association.

  8. The NFL is in a no-win situation here. A high-profile player is accused of a terrible crime. The only evidence may be a distraught girlfriend. If the NFL suspends the player and it turns out the player did nothing wrong, the NFL looks like an idiot and the team loses a valuable player for no reason. If the NFL doesn’t suspend the player, the NFL looks like it doesn’t care about domestic violence. As I said: No-win situation.

  9. California is an at will employment state, meaning I can be fired for no reason at all. If my fart stinks, I’ll get two checks and the unemployment number.

  10. How about the NFLPA getting a clear understanding of when a player is suspended for year, why is it that the league office drags their feet on reinstating them. Why is it that a player has to make an appt to meet with Goodell and show remorse and kiss his butt???

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