NFL players are pushing the Players Association to challenge Commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary powers, according to an NFL.com report.
At a Thursday press conference, NFLPA officials said players took Goodell’s handling of the Saints’ Bountygate investigation “personally.” Goodell suspended four current and former Saints players for allegedly participating in a program that rewarded hard tackles and knocking opposing players out of action. The players’ suspensions were later overturned. Goodell also suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the season and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely.
Union president Domonique Foxworth told NFL.com’s Albert Breer:
“We’ve already asked the league to revisit it, a number of times, to revisit neutral arbitration and commissioner discipline,” Foxworth told NFL.com. “Our players are intent on making moves in that direction, and any avenue that it requires us to make that move, we’re willing to take because it’s not my responsibility to decide the direction of this organization. It’s my responsibility to hear that direction and lead in that direction. And that’s where they want to go.”
Breer reports that NFLPA sources have suggested the union could introduce altering the commissioner’s disciplinary powers during negotiations over HGH testing. The NFLPA wants a neutral arbitrator to oversee the HGH policy, and could use the issue to attempt to weaken Goodell’s power over disciplining detrimental conduct.
The NFL has stood by Goodell’s power over conduct detrimental as agreed to in the 2011 CBA talks.