The public mockery of the ineptness of the commissioner of the National Football League continued today – this time via a scathing comment from a United States federal judge.
Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson was, after being placed on double-secret probation for all but one game last season, ultimately suspended by Führer Goodell for the final six games of the year. The issue with that unpaid suspension was that it was retroactively enforced. The off-field incident took place many months prior to Goodell’s announcement that the personal conduct policy was being revamped, and such incidents would now result in a six-game suspension rather than two games. (This of course occurred after the Kommissar was excoriated in the court of public opinion after appearing to have lied about not seeing the Ray Rice knockout punch; i.e., business as usual for those collecting a paycheck at 345 Park Avenue.)
Back to today’s news… back in February Judge David Doty ordered that the Peterson suspension be sent back to arbitration. The league dragged its feet and the after NFL Players Association had seen enough – and rightfully so – filed a contempt of court motion in May. Considering the hubris of Goodell and the NFL league offices, it is no surprise that here we are six months later and still no attempt at the court-ordered arbitration. NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler put on his Captain Obvious face and said the league has been stalling.
Judge Doty questioned NFL lawyer Dan Nash in regards to why the NFL was so hesitant to arbitrate. Doty quoted previous public comments by Goodell relative to his authority under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, and then hit Nash and the absent commissioner with a knee-buckling body blow.
“I’m not sure the commissioner understands there is a CBA.”
Despite that statement that should have been a wake up call to Nash, the chutzpah continued. He had the gall to say that the NFL had not violated the judge’s order and that the league was shocked by the filing of the contempt motion. The arrogance continued when Nash claimed that “we had every reason to believe there was no dispute”.
I don’t believe this will affect the Tom Brady case at all. However, it is worth noting that a Unites States federal judge is openly questioning if the commissioner of a multi-billion dollar business does not understand what powers he does and does not have, per a collectively bargained agreement. No wonder he needed someone else (Robert Kraft) to take over negotiations and reach an accord! And through all of this the person who does not understand the CBA has the gall to cite the very same agreement, in terms of what he can do? It makes me wonder if Goodell even read the Wells report, rather than just the summary.
Goodell and the NFL keep saying ‘Article 46’, but there is much, much more to the CBA. Among other things he must draw his decisions “from the essence of the CBA” and cannot ignore the “law of the shop”. There is no penalty for ‘failure to cooperate’, and the league is ‘required to provide proper notice’.
The concept that Goodell can do anything he wants based on Article 46 is ludicrous, no matter how many times fans and media members repeat the league office’s lies.
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