Smith: Double standard exists
Updated: May 29, 2014
ESPN.com news services
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith was critical of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on a number of topics Thursday, ranging from punishments to expanded playoffs to HGH testing.
Smith, speaking to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, criticized Goodell and the league for a double standard when it comes to punishments, particularly in the case of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has yet to be disciplined after he was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor offenses in March.
"The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League," Smith said. "What troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of the punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player. There isn't the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that's a problem."
Players have been critical of Goodell for the delay in judgment against Irsay, who was arrested March 16 for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated and while in the possession of $29,000 and prescription drugs that weren't in his name, according to police reports.
Smith was equally as pointed about Goodell when it came to the topic of HGH testing and why it's been held up to this point.
"It's not being held up on anything that has to do with HGH," Smith said. "It's not being held up on anything that has to do with DUIs. It's not being held up on anything that has to do with the frequency of testing.
"It's being held up because one man wants to keep the power to be the judge, jury and executioner. That's not right."
New NFLPA president Eric Winston said this month that the NFL's plan for HGH testing is on hold because players don't agree with the league's stipulation that Goodell be the final arbiter in particular disputes around the testing process or the results. Smith said this month that both sides have agreed to everything surrounding the testing process. The NFLPA, however, would prefer neutral arbitration over Goodell.
Smith was also asked Thursday about the possible expansion of the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams and said Goodell and league officials must do their due diligence for that to happen.
"If there will be an expansion of the playoffs, there will be a proposal by the National Football League pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement," Smith said. "That is a change of working conditions. Changes of working conditions must be negotiated with this union. And I haven't seen a proposal from the National Football League and I know that is a necessary precondition."
Hmmm...if only someone had tried to warn the NFLPA using almost these exact words...
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
If only there had been a team that refused to ratify the latest CBA because of this exact problem...