Jarran Reed case highlights another major flaw in NFL’s in-house system of justice

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Just when it appeared that the NFL was getting out of the business of policing the private lives of players not arrested or charged with crimes, the NFL pulled itself back in, with the six-game suspension imposed on Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed.

Although the league seems to be exercising far more caution when dealing with players who never faced the scrutiny of the criminal justice system, the NFL’s in-house system of justice becomes much easier to apply in the absence of formal public legal proceedings when the alleged victim of a player’s wrongdoing chooses to cooperate with the NFL.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the alleged victim in Reed’s case did indeed cooperate. If she had refused to do so, it would have become much more difficult for the league to do anything about the allegations against Reed, because (as noted on Monday in connection with the league’s inability to get information regarding the child-abuse investigation involving the son of Tyreek Hill), the league has no power to force people not connected to the NFL or any of its teams to cooperate.

This fundamental flaw in the NFL’s ability to gather potentially relevant evidence likely contributes to the perception/reality of inconsistent outcomes more than anything else, although plenty of other flaws exist in the process. It’s gotten bad enough that an employee of the NFL — Judy Battista of NFL Media — publicly said what needed to be said regarding the confusion created by the Friday decision not to suspend Hill and the next-business-day decision to suspend Reed.

“I know domestic violence cases are difficult & sensitive,” Battista said on Twitter. “But the wildly different outcomes of NFL investigations without much public explanation give the impression to players & fans the discipline is random & arbitrary. True or not, it’s a bad look and the NFL has to fix it.”

She’s right, and hopefully instead of getting miffed that someone who is supposed to be part of the broader “team” has decided to provide a fair, honest, and candid critique of the situation, the NFL will engage in a fair, honest, and candid assessment of its own subpar procedures in order to ensure that discipline of a player doesn’t hinge on whether a witness with no connection to the league is willing to talk.

In Hill’s case, the mother of the child reportedly refused to cooperate. The Kareem Hunt case languished (until TMZ got involved) in large part because the victim refused to cooperate. Conversely, the alleged victim in Ezekiel Elliott‘s case from 2017 willingly submitted to interviews at least six times — even though when the time came for Elliott to defend himself the league basically said, “We have no power to compel her to show up and be questioned.”

So, yes, the perception is that the league is all over the place when it comes to disciplining players who were never arrested or charged. It’s also the reality.

38 responses to “Jarran Reed case highlights another major flaw in NFL’s in-house system of justice

  1. Antonio Brown throws furniture from a 14th floor balcony – NFL, no action. He also prob pushed the mother of his child to the ground and paid her off – NFL, no action. HGH was delivered to Peyton’s house and Al Jazeera presented HGH evidence against him, Matthews, Neal, Peppers & Harrison and said it had additional evidence and recordings to back it up – NFL never even asked to see it, never once asked for players’ phones/logs nor access to medical records. Peyton sent heavies to threaten Sly’s elderly parents – NFL still do nothing. Eli found guilty of selling faked NFL memorabilia – NFL? nada. Aaron Rodgers admitted to a very long running PSI scheme in 2015 – NFL? Nada. The list goes on, and on.

  2. Bottom Line: Players looking to avoid suspension and/or teams looking to avoid losing a player for multiple weeks should simply pay off the victim to not cooperate with the League! (sarcasm, of course) How many crimes go unsolved because of lack of witness/victim cooperation every year that don’t involve the NFL? This isn’t merely an NFL problem. And it doesn’t just look bad on the NFL. But short of saying no witness, no crime (like in the very olden days), you hand out judgment only where you can rationally defend said judgment.

  3. Deflategate.

    Millions paid to Exponent to fabricate desired results. Absolutely zero proof or admission that any tampering had occurred. All footballs for both teams experienced the same results caused by a drop in weather conditions.

    Was anyone surprised the NFL never revealed their findings of what weather conditions can do to air pressure in footballs?

    That was an atrocity.

  4. Chris Flynn says: …hand out judgment only where you can rationally defend said judgment.
    —————
    Like when NFL admitted to Judge Berman they’d no evidence of a scheme by Brady? The 2nd court was a de-novo case not considering Brady’s guilt but just Fraudger’s CBA rights to suspend. NFL lied about Pats switching balls (turns out an NFL guy stole them), NFL lied about Brady’s phone (he did offer his logs like every player before and since does), and the NFL manipulated the PSI data and to do so had to ignore ref Walt Anderson’s testimony on the one key point of which gauge he used before the game (because they read differently).

  5. In this case perception is realty. The league is quite arbitrary given that it can develop its own view regardless of witness cooperation. It has already been supported in court that the league can do as it wants without due process so what do witnesses matter?

  6. Seems when the victims cooperate with an interview, punishment is handed down. When they don’t, there is no punichment. Seems pretty cut and dry.

  7. This just in: Tom Brady will be suspended for 8 weeks for child endangerment cliff jump incident.

  8. Goodell will never stop cheating. When will the media stop calling this a kangaroo court and “aribtrary” and point to the patterns by Goodell?

    If you are in the conference where they Pats don’t play or not on their schedule that year, as one of 4 NFC teams, you will be suspended. Or, if Mara or the Rooneys, Irsay or Bisciotti want something done, it gets done.

    Hill was NEVER going to be suspended. Since I know how Goodell works, I can easily predict what will happen.

    I’d be wrong constantly on these, but since KC has to have Hill to have a chance vs NE, and the ratings have dropped 3 straight years into a CBA, Goodell is trying to make sure NE gets all it can handle.

    It’s just that simple. Goodell protects all oter AFC teams, frames Pats players (did we ever learn what Edelman took?), because the money is key thing here. Greed, ego, power and money, alongside his job security.

    NE winning so much is bad for business hence the framejobs through the years, while being caught lying after the fact.

    Elliott was framed by the Giants and John Mara for an advantage and to distract from his Brown fiasco.

  9. Who is vetting the witness to verify the veracity of their claim/statements? Interviewing a witness is simply not sufficient, and considering that these are not criminal complaints, the witness cannot be compelled to be cross examined. By definition, a kangaroo court.

  10. There is no perception that NFL player discipline is random and arbitrary. It IS reality. And it’s ridiculous to even remotely suggest otherwise.

    Why is it random and arbitrary? Because fans are relying on an organization known for their pants being on fire to determine if the accuser\victim are telling the truth or not. And than doubling down on blind faith they “got it right” while using a flawed system positioned above the law of the land.

    Perception indeed.

  11. thecape15 says:
    July 23, 2019 at 7:26 am
    The NFL can do what they want, as a federal judge ruled.

    Your team could be next.

    13 0 Rate This

    —————————-

    Au contraire….Your team aka any team not named the Pats, actually gets away with murder in the AFC.

    Some might call it CHEATING by the comissioner. Do we see other sports leagues doing this, with the institutionalized cheating from 345 Park Ave?

    No, we don’t. This is unique to the NFL and it is without question a way for owners and Goodell to cheat.

    If they want money to flow to a different market like how Goodell instructed the refs to not call or call something to help the LA Rams in the title game, he cheats that way, too.

  12. The next question going into a new gambling era is Roger fixing games. Clearly he is promoting and protecting certain teams (Chiefs with their women and alleged child beaters) and trying to ruin other teams. Dallas is the obvious since Jerry tried to get him out then Zeke got 6 for what amounts to no real evidence just hearsay and also the Saints with the obvious miss call was it making up for when several players had reduced suspension after Tagliabue thought it was a joke with bounty gate. The NFL is getting to be more of joke like professional wrestling and moving into NBA land where players and teams are favored over rules to create better match ups; how else would have Cleveland actually made it to the finals all those years.

  13. Here’s the thing.
    If a woman accuses a man of domestic violence, it’s true.

    If you’re a woman involved with an NFL player, you look around and notice all you have to do is cooperate with their investigation to exact revenge on the man, what you gonna do?

    Pay me or I talk. Pay me then I talk anyway.

  14. Players now know the NFL and owners will allow al this bad behavior. Most got away with it in college and it just continues. These bad characters are employees and if the employers would say enough all ready, they would be looking for a new career.

  15. In Reeds case it was not only the victim who cooperated it was several other witnesses who saw Reed drag the woman down the hall, break down the bathroom door and continue to drag the woman down the stairs and out the door.

  16. riverhorsey says:
    July 23, 2019 at 10:25 am
    In Reeds case it was not only the victim who cooperated it was several other witnesses who saw Reed drag the woman down the hall, break down the bathroom door and continue to drag the woman down the stairs and out the door.

    0 0 Rate This

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    Yet, no one saw Elliott do anything and the NFL’s own female investigator found the gal completely not credible. Hmm. So, which is it? Elliott was framed and it took them over 2 years to face up this guy’s case? Or, was it a convenient post-Hill distraction? Because the PD in Seattle and PD here in this case with Hill both didn’t end up bringing charges.

    And, there was video footage of Hunt. Ignored by Goodell and the Chiefs, which is not an accident. I repeat, not an accident, until it was leaked similar to the Rice situation where Goodell was ready to protect the Ravens in the AFC and Ray Rice to help them try to beat the Pats. See the patterns?

    And, then with this, the NFL allows the local authorities to keep the Hill info boxed up even AFTER the audio of Hill was caught on tape threatening the mother of his child. What happened to Article 46? Where does it go when Goodell really needs it? Hmm? Just where does it go? It’s all so confusing, or is it? Is it not confusing at this point, but blatantly obvious Goodell wields Article 46 as a tool to cheat. Oh, I think so!

    In the rules itself, it literally says “threatening harm to someone” is a violation and punishable under the CBA. So, did Hill deny that was his voice on that tape during his 8 hour meeting with Goodell? Was it even 8 hours? Did it really even happen? Hmm.

    So, what did Hill do for 8 hours with Goodell, or was it a dog and pony show for the cover up?

    Why is Brady framed with only bits and pieces given to the public, where never see the actual interview transcripts of that interview? Is that sloppy work or by design? Hmm? I think the answer is clear. lmao

    I know ALL of these answers and know WHY they are happening. I have been on to Goodell for over a decade now and the Pats never cheated either. These are facts.

    Goodell is the cheater. Period. It’s why it only appears this is arbitrary. It’s not arbitrary. It’s EXACTLY what they want for the results they intend to try to get.

    What’s hilarious is, Framegate II completely backfired as the football gods have been watching Weseal Goodell.

    Karma is coming for Goodell, millions in the bank or not.

  17. No arrest, no conviction and receives a 6 game suspension?

    NFL justice is 100% total joke.

    No idea why the players union puts up with this garbage

  18. Take a look at the cases of Ray Rice, Zeke Elliott, & Kareem Hunt. The police said ‘something happened’ but couldn’t determine who did what to whom. The NFL took no action is the case of Ray Rice (until a video surfaced), Elliott got a 6 game suspension, and Hunt received no action by the NFL. The NFL simply does what it wants in every case. Sometimes it seems to bend to public perception of what may have happened, sometime it’s the opposite. Police reports don’t seem to mean a thing. There is no cut and dried policy the NFL follows. It also appears the NFL wants it that way. As a result, every fans is left to scratch our collective heads about the NFL policies.

  19. There is no “victim” in the Reed case. That’s why the NFL is such a joke. If Reed had even touched her, by state law he would have been arrested. He was not. What was he suspended for? Calling her names?

    The NFL is a joke.

  20. Here, I fixed this for you:

    lgw91s says:

    Deflategate.

    Millions paid to Exponent to fabricate desired results. Absolutely zero proof or admission that any tampering had occurred. All footballs for both teams experienced the same results caused by a drop in weather conditions.
    —————————————————————–
    Results were not fabricated. Brady destroys cell phone with incriminating texts to “The Deflator” on it. Patriots footballs deflated far more than Colts footballs, far beyond the limits of the hypothesis falsely labeled “the ideal gas ‘law.'” All footballs reinflated at half time. No change in PSI in second half, despite bigger drop in temp. IGL therefore falsified.

    Brady remains the only professional athlete in any sport to get BETTER between ages 35-40 that was “not” using steroids (see, Bonds, Barry and Clemens, Roger among others). Brady’s teammate Edelman (who uses the same trainer) busted for PED’s, Brady never tested for PEDs. Creates documentary claiming he got better between 35-40 because he never eats strawberries.

    The NFL didn’t persecute Brady, they’re covering for him.

  21. Totally agree with you Florio. Ridiculous that the league continues to be so inconsistent and arbitrary with its application of “justice”. Reed was never charged by the police, and that should be the dividing line. Instead the league follows this willy-nilly policy where some players who were not charged by police get off scott free (Hill, Elliott), while a player like Reed who was also not charged not only gets disciplined, but is harshly disciplined. And this is for something that happened 2 years ago!

  22. Mary and Bruce Locis says:
    July 23, 2019 at 11:06 am
    No arrest, no conviction and receives a 6 game suspension?

    NFL justice is 100% total joke.

    No idea why the players union puts up with this garbage

    2 0 Rate This

    ————————–

    Well, don’t look now, but the union has leverage for the first time in years assuming the players are saving their pennies and not going crazy with their salaries:1

    1. A drop in tv ratings 3 years in a row.
    2. Stuff like this where players are having paychecks stolen for no reason or with any consistency. Goodell has been caught lying in a federal court 3 times in his tenure. And, that’s just the 3 times he was brought into court.
    3. The NFL wants 18 games and is the side initiating a deal to be done immediately. This reeks of desperation their part.

    The union should demand Goodell resign before any negotiations are to take place.

  23. I wonder if the NFLPA will demand that Goodell be removed from the decision making process when the league doles out disciplinary actions on players. Goodell makes decisions based on how good he will look to outsiders especially acitivists who do not care anything about due process.

  24. Yesterday, there were reports of senators regretting their decision to pressure senator Al Franken to resign, without giving him due process, which is an investigation by the Senate ethics committee. Without due process, any disciplinary action looks like high tech lynching, as Clarence Thomas put it.

  25. “This just in: Tom Brady will be suspended for 8 weeks for child endangerment cliff jump incident.”

    Lolz.

    And whoever called that a “cliff” to begin with was ridiculous. It was maybe 12′ – 15′ high if you look at the video. The word cliff says 70′ – 100′ or more to me.

  26. “So, yes, the perception is that the league is all over the place when it comes to disciplining players who were never arrested or charged. It’s also the reality.”

    It’s also what the NFLPA agreed to in the CBA.

    The threshold should never be only if the player is charged / convicted. How many “good old boy” stories do we hear about NCAA players escaping any sort of punishment in their respective collegiate towns? Does anyone really think it doesn’t happen at the NFL level?

  27. alongthegulf says:
    July 23, 2019 at 11:06 am
    Take a look at the cases of Ray Rice, Zeke Elliott, & Kareem Hunt. The police said ‘something happened’ but couldn’t determine who did what to whom.
    ————————————
    Ray Rice was indicted by a grand jury for slugging his wife. ACPD absolutely did something. Elliott was investigated and not charged because the evidence didn’t support it. Hunt wasn’t charged because it was a 2am knucklehead mutual combatance thing.

  28. Losing Jarran Reed is a death blow for the Hawks defense. Without Reed the SEA pass rush is non-existent, Ansah is extremely injury prone and no longer good on a steep decline, those two were who SEA was heavily on relying to produce the bulk of their pass rush. Behind those two SEA is not strong at all, LJ Collier is a rookie and extremely unathletic. Without a pass rush up front SEA’s very young very thin secondary is going picked apart as they will not be able to hold up in coverage. SEA will have to shootouts every single week to even have a chance next season, and if you havent noticed the offensive scheme they run isn’t exactly condusive to putting up points up in bunch’s & putting them up fast. This loss is devastating for the Seahawks, they will be 1-5 maybe 2-4 team through the first 6 weeks and they will be lucky to win that.

  29. hawkkiller says:
    July 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm
    Losing Jarran Reed is a death blow for the Hawks defense. Without Reed the SEA pass rush is non-existent, Ansah is extremely injury prone and no longer good on a steep decline, those two were who SEA was heavily on relying to produce the bulk of their pass rush. Behind those two SEA is not strong at all, LJ Collier is a rookie and extremely unathletic. Without a pass rush up front SEA’s very young very thin secondary is going picked apart as they will not be able to hold up in coverage. SEA will have to shootouts every single week to even have a chance next season, and if you havent noticed the offensive scheme they run isn’t exactly condusive to putting up points up in bunch’s & putting them up fast. This loss is devastating for the Seahawks, they will be 1-5 maybe 2-4 team through the first 6 weeks and they will be lucky to win that.

    2 0 Rate This

    ————————

    If that analysis is true, then it lends even more credence as a favor to Stan Kroenke in LA. Keep in mind, every move Goodell makes is one with an agenda. These are not coincidences.

    This would obviously help the Rams in the division.

    Seattle plays LA once in the first 6 weeks.

    The other aspect to this is damage control on the HIll decision, cheating with KC to try to help them.

    A Rams/KC SB with Goff and Mahomes is probably what they wanted last year. Pimping the young QBs is what they want.

  30. tylawspick6 says: “The union should demand Goodell resign before any negotiations are to take place.”
    ————————-

    The year before Goodell, the salary cap was $85m (2005). Since Goodell, the cap has risen to $188m in just thirteen years. No other league has grown so big, so fast. EVER. Even previous commissioners Tagliabue, Bell, Rozelle, etc. couldn’t monetize football popularity like Goodell.

    What does that mean for players? Over the past 13 years, Goodell gave them an EXTRA $22.592 BILLION more than the last commissioner.

    And do you really think the other 1,700 players that DON’T get in trouble with the Personal Conduct Policy care about the 10-12 guys that are always in trouble???

    That’s an easy equation for me. $22 BILLION >>> the few losers that can’t control themselves and give the rest of NFL players a black eye.

  31. mikebara33 says:
    Results were not fabricated. Brady destroys cell phone with incriminating texts to “The Deflator” on it.

    _____________________________________________
    Huh!? People this is why when reading, comprehending what you read is everything! Obviously mikebara33 you didn’t get the MEMO! Brady gave ALL of his phone info to Goodell during his hearing about DEFLATEGATE.
    Check out the 56 Lies that the NFL came up with during DEFLATEGATE!

  32. When you don’t have subpoena power, what do you expect? That’s why the NFL should only take action after law enforcement has done their part. A player could pay off a victim in the NFL investigation. Gets a little more murky if a player tries pay off a victim in a law enforcement investigation. If the NFL only takes action after law enforcement, they can put the onus on law enforcement in the courts and basically say we can’t do anything unless they do.

  33. Suspending a guy that wasn’t even charged by police two years ago for six games seems like either:

    A. An emotional attempt at overcompensating for the Hill debacle by Goodell to give the perception of caring about domestic matters and player conduct.

    or

    B. Some shady plan concieved by Stan down in LA to try and keep the Seahawks from AGAIN taking over the NFC West which they have pretty much owned since joining. The Rams need more support down in LA and that would be good for the NFL as well. LA fans are easily distracted and last years success will be quickly forgotten of the Hawks win it again this year.

    Either way, I think Reed got a raw deal. Too bad Paul Allen isn’t still her to have been part of the conversation. Interesting that they wait until he is gone to take action.

  34. mikebara33 says:
    July 23, 2019 at 11:21 am
    Here, I fixed this for you:

    Results were not fabricated. Brady destroys cell phone with incriminating texts to “The Deflator” on it. Patriots footballs deflated far more than Colts footballs, far beyond the limits of the hypothesis falsely labeled “the ideal gas ‘law.’” All footballs reinflated at half time. No change in PSI in second half, despite bigger drop in temp. IGL therefore falsified.

    Brady remains the only professional athlete in any sport to get BETTER between ages 35-40 that was “not” using steroids (see, Bonds, Barry and Clemens, Roger among others). Brady’s teammate Edelman (who uses the same trainer) busted for PED’s, Brady never tested for PEDs. Creates documentary claiming he got better between 35-40 because he never eats strawberries.

    The NFL didn’t persecute Brady, they’re covering for him.
    ——
    Wow, the things that people believe.

    Riddle me this, riddle me that, so why hasn’t the NFL released any of their random PSI recordings/data over the years? One would think they would pounce upon the chance to prove once and for all that balls defy the laws of physics and cold weather doesn’t actually deflate footballs all that much, right?

    Colt’s balls being “much higher” was due to the fact that they got measured last and had nearly 20 minutes of indoor temperature to thaw the cold from the balls. Even so, the Colts balls were still a little bit under regulation and they only measured like 3 total balls from the Colts. Common sense, people.

  35. OMG- I can’t believe it- These obsessed Pats fans hijack this thread about Reed and The freak and turn it into another bitch session about how Brady got railroaded and they aren’t the biggest cheaters in the league…
    Seriously, their level of derangement borders on insanity and it’s hard not to notice- Kinda Jim Jones-like- spooky

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