Commissioner will have final say over discipline arising from Al Jazeera documentary

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Two years ago, as the NFL and NFL Players Association tried to hammer out the details of a new PED policy that would include HGH testing, the NFL insisted on retaining final say over discipline imposed for reasons other than a positive PED test. Eventually, the league got what it wanted.

Under the PED policy, the Commissioner or his designee handles the appeals process for PED violations arising from violations of the law or other “credible documented evidence” of PED use, with only limited appeal rights to an arbitrator regarding whether the player’s due process rights were violated. This means that, in the case of Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, and free-agent defensive lineman Mike Neal, any finding of a violation arising from the investigation sparked by the Al Jazeera report will be handled by Commissioner Roger Goodell personally, or by someone like Harold Henderson.

That’s all the more reason for the players to tread lightly when submitting to their interviews. If the league chooses to twist their words in order to find guilty in connection with the initial decision, the Commissioner or his designee will be less likely than an arbitrator would have been to reject that conclusion.

As recently explained, it’s possible that the league simply wants to exonerate the players, in the same way that quarterback Peyton Manning was exonerated. But there’s still reason to be concerned that a different agenda exists — especially since the current PED testing program so rarely (if ever) catches actual cheaters. And if the league decides to distort the players’ words into a finding of guilt, the Commissioner will still have final say, even though as to the rest of the PED policy he no longer does.

39 responses to “Commissioner will have final say over discipline arising from Al Jazeera documentary

  1. The Commish likes to convict on false evidence like when the Colts broke the rules and he convicted the Pats for maybe breaking the rules. Or on no evidence as the reporter admitted he was not truthful and recanted. Someday the owners need to wake up the NFL has become a laughingstock

  2. Good, Roger’s done a phenomenal job as commissioner, finally someone had the stones to stand up to the cheating Krafts, belicheat and their loser franchise. That team was losing money hand over fist until the cameras began rolling, coincidentally they started winning around that time also!

  3. I’m thinking the NFL has their fingers crossed that these guys haven’t done anything wrong, and I don’t think they have.

    It’s bad press all around if it goes sour. They want to demonstrate due diligence for future application of same.

  4. This is perfect for the league. A bogus story by a weak, third rate network. The league acts like they’re taking it seriously and doing it’s due diligence for public consumption. Then finds no credible evidence and clears everybody. Then declares ” See, we’re not so bad” and everybody loves them again. Or so they hope.

  5. “If the league chooses to twist their words in order to find guilty in connection with the initial decision, the Commissioner or his designee will be less likely than an arbitrator would have been to reject that conclusion.”

    Are you implying the commissioner or his designee would act in a biased fashion unbefitting an arbitrator’s obligations? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you…

  6. Nothing will happen.

    If something does, people will ask why Gomer wasn’t suspended last year for admitting PEDs were shipped to his house.

    This is all posturing to make it look good.

  7. Brettfavrecellphone says

    “By rooting against Brady and for the NFL you inadvertently have given the commissioner power to suspend your own player with zero evidence. Great work guys.”

    Rooting does nothing. A little thing called the Collective Bargaining Agreement is what gives Goodell the power. The same C.B.A. that the Pittsburgh Steelers organization said no to. Why?…Cuz it gave Goodell too much power.

  8. Al Jazeera is a purveyor of trash.

    The only honorable action Emperor Goodell could possibly take here is to publicly call out AJ for the worthless America-hating propaganda machine that it is, flush this entire “investigation”, and get on with the actual business of football.

  9. This has to be a brutal temptation for ol’ Rog. On the one hand, from a PR standpoint they need the appearance of applying due diligence before applying an even greater amount of Manning’s Whitewash. On the other hand, there’s Deebo finally right there in the crosshairs…

  10. Thanks for the laugh! “it’s possible that the league simply wants to exonerate the players,”

  11. Everyone here needs to lay off Goodell. He may have a history of suspending players without evidence, or punishing teams for exceeding salary caps that don’t exist, but at least we can be confident that he’ll let this drag out for months claiming that there’s an ongoing investigation, and refuse to communicate to either the players or their teams that way nobody can plan for any player absences.

  12. Rooting does nothing. A little thing called the Collective Bargaining Agreement is what gives Goodell the power. The same C.B.A. that the Pittsburgh Steelers organization said no to. Why?…Cuz it gave Goodell too much power.

    Article 46 has been in the CBA since 1969. No other commissioner has ever abused it the way Giodell has….

  13. With “Hitler” presiding over discipline, there will be no problem with summary executions, and the double standards used by NFL NY. The criminal Injustice system is being replaced by NFL cronyism.

  14. I wonder why Kommissar Goodell wasn’t so motivated by the al-Jazeera report when golden boy Peyton Manning was in the league. If you think that tarring Tom Brady wasn’t partially designed to raise white knight Peyton Manning’s stature, you are kidding yourself.

  15. I think Goodell will suspend the players just because the NFLPA initially balked at the interviews.

    He doesnt like his power questioned in any way and will suspend the players to prove a point. The man is too petty

  16. I am a Steeler fan and to be honest, I kind of want him to single out Harrison. Only because it will show what an insecure little weasel pizza boy this guy really is. Only suspending 1 of 5 players in some bogus report because Harrison hasn’t been nice to him over the years. Obviously as a Steeler fan a side of me would hate it but maybe it’ll be the straw that breaks the camels back when it comes to getting rid of this Buffoon Goodell.

    I will never forget when people booed him for over 3 minutes at the draft and when ask about his not so warm welcome, the stupid robot he is said “Everyone has been great, the fans have been extremely friendly!” you almost got booed off the stage dude, quit being a spineless goon.

  17. I’m really beginning to believe that Peyton dropped a dime on these guys……To save his own neck, legacy and future revenue gains with advertising….

    It makes perfect sense.

    If the NFL had decided there was nothing there with P.M., why then this line in the sand and with “God”del deciding punishment over it all himself.

  18. The innocent players suffer under the current regime, maybe they should help enforce policies when other players are cheating and turn them in.

    Set up a reward program and when verified and keep a fund from the cheaters caught to pay those who turn in the convicted cheaters, like the government has now.

    In the long run, it’s best to keep the sport clean and self-police.

  19. According to the Al Jazeera report, there was significantly more evidence linking Manning to PED’s and the other 4 names were just merely mentioned. So if Manning walks free on this, what could possibly happen to the other 4?

    This is just merely a PR exercise in chest puffing for the purposes of showing the NFL is getting tough on PED’s. By forcing the players to do an interview, the NFL can walk away saying they were fully investigated and close the book.

  20. I still see the false claim that Manning “admitted HGH was shipped to his home.” That still is not true, despite the narratives on talk radio and Twitter…

    Manning and his spokesman Fleischer admitted that *medicine* was shipped from Guyer to their home, which is neither shocking nor against any rules. Don’t believe everything you read.

  21. I think its great…….and I’m not even a hater…..I think all teams should get a dose of the same BS that the Pats were subjected to……..enjoy!!! you’ve earned it!!!

  22. With Manny, and the baseball players being cleared I guess that mean my club will be starting two players down for the season. Goodell could never let all the players off without punishing someone.

  23. This is a billion dollar industry and the owners want to make sure their franchises continue to double in value every few years. They need to make sure that the competition seems legit. The league doesn’t want to suspend it’s superstars, but will if there is overwhelming evidence. Many fans like to wager on these games too, and there is probably a certain amount of clout held by that industry too. The last thing the league wants to do is discipline players. They would much rather have a group of players who didn’t cheat or break laws. After all, they wouldn’t have bank guards if there were no robbers. They wouldn’t have police if there were no criminals.

  24. To everyone who supports the culture of corruption and cheating that is the Pats and Brady, this is what we all have to now put up with.

    #SAD

  25. Exonerate my back side. So far if you did not know better Gödel is after one player Harrison, his picture has been on every article form the league office. This guy has already been know to lie ask manning, so Gödel takes this guy word over these next three players to be run over the coals and turn words around by the so call interviewers from the NFL. If they want to keep something clean how about clean up Gödel office.

  26. isn’t it similar to getting deposed ? in which case…choose words carefully…speak minimally…give bland, vanilla, general answers…try your best to give them nothing…

    law 101

  27. I’m 100% behind Goddell on whatever outcome NFL reaches. We need clean sports and if that takes a 4 games suspension of one of league’s biggest names so be it. Brady is not bigger than the sport therefore when he was caught tampering with footballs he was punished. Same thing should apply to the HGH investigation.

  28. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Aug 22, 2016 3:49 PM
    I’m 100% behind Goddell on whatever outcome NFL reaches. We need clean sports and if that takes a 4 games suspension of one of league’s biggest names so be it. Brady is not bigger than the sport therefore when he was caught tampering with footballs he was punished. Same thing should apply to the HGH investigation.

    __________________

    Brady was caught? With WHAT evidence? Because I remember when a federal court judge asked the NFL what evidence they had, the NFL said “NONE.”

  29. With Manning and the ML Baseball players exonerated from the same report, there needs to be some credible, indisputable evidence that points to specific players while omitting the others, or Goodell will have some serious ‘splaining to do.

  30. Goodell needs his evil seed to bear fruit, therefore one of these guys will be found guilty.
    My money is on Mathews. He’s the most blatantly Juiced-up player on the list.

    Oh wait, forgot about Harrison.
    Either or

  31. None of these guys are getting suspended. NFL HQ already won their CBA war and this is just an opportunity for Roger The Liar to make them sweat it out, kiss his “ring” and make them thank him for being so fair and righteous. Then the NFL will go before the media and declare “see, the process laid out by the CBA works just fine.” Goodell’s arrogance is boundless.

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