On Thursday, former NFL receiver James Thrash upheld the NFL’s indefinite suspension of Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. The decision prompted a reaction on social media.
Thrash has reacted to the reaction.
“Please stop tweeting me about the decision,” Thrash tweeted late Thursday afternoon. “This was a grueling process and the outcome is final. Player safety is what’s most important!!!”
Some would say that the process couldn’t have been grueling, because a decision was made in roughly a day. Also, as one source explained it to PFT, the Browns are keenly aware of the fact that Thrash is a former teammate of NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent and NFL V.P. of policy and rules administration Jon Runyan.
Hearing officers are jointly appointed and jointly paid by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. In some cases, however, it makes sense to be sensitive to whether one side wants a specific outcome more badly than the other. If either the NFL or the NFLPA become sufficiently frustrated with a given hearing officer, it will want to find a new hearing officer.
In this case, the NFL didn’t simply want the indefinite suspension to stick — it needed it to stick, for moral/legal reasons and for reasons related to the future of football as influenced by youth participation. The NFLPA, which has a duty under federal law to support and to defend all players, may have been less zealous regarding Garrett’s punishment than the league was.
Regardless, it was the right outcome. Whether it also enhances Thrash’s relationship with one of his two primary constituents is irrelevant to that fact, even though it may be very relevant to Thrash.