When selecting June 22 for the date of the hearing at which Commissioner Roger Goodell will testify, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform either deliberately or coincidentally set the session for one day after the league’s deadline for filing a motion to force the arbitration of the Brian Flores litigation. Regardless, as Congress prepares to grill Goodell, the ink is still drying on the league’s effort to push the entire case into the NFL’s secret, rigged kangaroo court.
The presiding judge set the schedule earlier this year. The paperwork supporting the motion to compel arbitration must be filed by June 21. Via Danel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com, it has indeed been filed.
The threshold effort to compel Brian Flores, Ray Horton, and Steve Wilks to yield to the NFL’s internal dispute-resolution process comes from the contracts the three named plaintiffs signed with the Dolphins, Titans, and Cardinals, respectively. The league’s teams routinely include in coaching contracts broad, take-it-or-leave-it language requiring any claims to go to arbitration.
And while that’s increasingly common in American business (mainly because they never want to have to answer for their actions to independent judges and juries), most companies defer to an outside arbitration service. The NFL’s obsession with the micromanagement of every aspect of its business includes forcing coaches and other team employees to allow the man hired and paid by the owners of the teams to resolve claims made against those owners.
Fairness? Justice? Sure, Jan.
It’s ridiculous that the league does this. It’s ridiculous that the league has been permitted to do it. Hopefully, this is the case during which basic notions of equity will be applied to the NFL’s unfair effort to rig the system in its favor.
Flores, of course, has claims against other teams. Based on Kaplan’s article (we’re in the process of getting the raw court documents), it appears that the league has advanced the same argument that was rejected last month by a court in Nevada in the Jon Gruden case, based on the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws.
The response to the motion is due one month from today. The NFL then will get the final word in writing. Eventually, a ruing will be made. Inevitably (if the NFL doesn’t get what it wants), appeals will be filed.