NFLPA Sues NFL On Behalf of Disciplined Players in Bounty Program
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has held up the suspensions stemming from the Saints bounty program in arbitration. Four players where initial suspended along with Saints coach Sean Payton, and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. In response to the upheld decision the NFLPA has filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita. The fourth player Jonathan Vilma has filed a separate lawsuit.
Statements From The Lawsuit
“A seminal question for this court is whether the NFL collective bargaining agreement … granted the commissioner, when serving as an arbitrator, the authority to disregard the essence of the parties’ agreement, to conduct proceedings that are fundamentally unfair, and to act with evident bias and without jurisdiction,” the lawsuit states. “The answer, under governing case law, is clearly `no.’
The lawsuit said the NFL violated the labor agreement by refusing to provide players with access to “critical documents or witnesses, or anything resembling the fairness mandated by the CBA and governing industrial due process law.”
Goodell is known for making swift and stern decisions when it comes to players’ issues of moral conduct, on and off the field. In many cases Goodell doesn’t wait till all the facts are known to hand down his suspensions. This time the commissioner and the NFL claim they they have insurmountable evidence to warrant the suspensions of the Saints organization. Evidence that the accused don’t have access to refute their validity.
The most absurd part is that Goodell, the man who handed down the suspensions in the first place, rules over the arbitration itself. That seems like a conflict of interest to me. How can Goodell possible be unbiased in arbitration? He can’t. Goodell clearly has an agenda to act upon the best interest of the NFL and it’s owners. Not the players. That is basically his job description.
No Change In Sight
There needs to be an outside arbitrator to insure that the players and the league get a fair deal in arbitrations. But, that may not happen no time soon. The players agreed to Goodell to oversee arbitration in the last CBA.
Goodell is not going anywhere and is not changing anytime soon. Under Goodell’s watch the NFL has turned into a billion dollar company, and stands to increase revenue for years to come. So the owners will not be getting rid of Goodell no time soon. He has made too much money for them.
So to answer my question, does Roger Goodell have too much power? The answer is yes but there is not much that can be done about it.