NFLPA outside counsel hints at exculpatory evidence disclosed by league on Monday
First, Smith claims that NFL outside counsel Mary Jo White attended Monday’s hearings to “read the report of an investigation she did not conduct, but [the league] prohibited her from answering any questions from the players.” Second, Smith says that the league produced at “today’s hearing a declaration from a team advisor who said that no bounty program existed.”
NFLPA outside counsel hints at exculpatory evidence disclosed by league on Monday | ProFootballTalk
You (Saints fans in general, not just picking on you 656) need to read the entire statement released by the outside counsel. I didn't see it posted on this site, but it's linked to in that article, so here it is.
Get your popcorn, as the saying goes.
NFLPA’S OUTSIDE COUNSEL’S FINDINGS ON 'BOUNTY INVESTIGATION'
The Commissioner in this proceeding—and in any disciplinary proceeding—has the obligation to act impartially in the disciplining of players. As the representative of the game of football, this duty of the Commissioner is as compelling as his obligation to protect the game of football. His interest should not be in rubber-stamping any pronouncement of punishment, but rather ensuring that justice is done.
As a servant of the game, the Commissioner’s threefold aim should be to protect the men who play the game, administer discipline in a fair and even manner and protect the image of the game. While he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. The unfair discipline of players for their alleged involvement in a pay-to-injure/bounty program violated the Commissioner’s duty to refrain from resorting to improper methods to defend an unsubstantiated pronouncement.
After four months, the following facts have now been established. The Commissioner, NFL personnel and their outside counsel:
- Ran a sloppy investigation that inexplicably included a decision to not question any of the coaches about the documentary evidence used as a basis for punishment.
- Punished players before they had the ability to confront, challenge or explain a single piece of evidence used against them.
- Launched a public campaign in the media to support the discipline and tarnish the reputations of players before any hearing, effectively destroying any claim that the Commissioner could act as an impartial arbitrator.
- Withheld any and all evidence from the players for nearly four months despite repeated requests for full information and full transparency.
- Falsely characterized witness interviews to draw false conclusions about players’ involvement in a pay-to-injure scheme.
- Retained a former U.S. Attorney to whitewash the investigation by employing her to conduct a media conference call affirming an investigation she was not part of.
- Employed the same former U.S. Attorney to today’s hearing to read the report of an investigation she did not conduct, but prohibited her from answering any questions from the players.
- Refused to make any coaches involved in preparing the supposed documentary evidence available for interviews by the players or at today’s hearing.
- Provided only 200 pages out of their claimed 18,000 pages of materials and refused to provide any materials that might be exculpatory.
- Without explanation, produced at today’s hearing a declaration from a team advisor who said that no bounty program existed.
- Inexplicably relied upon an article and a blog post written after the investigation had concluded and punishment had been issued as ‘evidence’ even though they had supposedly collected thousands of documents proving players participated in a pay-to-injure scheme.
- Refused a three-day adjournment and delay of the appeals hearing so that the players could perform a more comprehensive review of the documents.
In this matter, the conduct of the Commissioner and his representatives has undermined the fundamental process contemplated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Through this abuse, these players have been denied any semblance of due process and fairness.
At a time when some question the safety and integrity of the game, the failure by those charged to act responsibly and fairly have challenged our collective faith and confidence in the league.
-- Richard Smith, NFLPA Outside Counsel
Yea.. 656! Who ever you are.
That is full of "unwritten rule", "shoulds", and a he said she said between Greg Williams and a team advisor.... While morally correct, and true, and Goodell and the NFL have acted unfairly.... It doesnt not prove that Goodell acted outside of the powers granted to him.
Calling something unfair does not hold up well in court.
Let me state this for the record:
I HOPE I am dead wrong. If I am dead wrong I will make a Roast Black thread and everyone can come in and verbally slay me... I will gladly enjoy it.
History however dictates that I am not wrong though... No matter how much grand standing there is from player council.
Just because you mix a Legal court with Goodells kangaroo court does not mean it will change anything.
1. Ben Roethlisburger - No Charges ever formerly filed, never arrested.. Only accusations, served a 4 game suspension.
2. Packman Jones: Charges dropped. One Year suspension.
3. Way too many players to list found guilty of DWI... No suspensions.
"Conduct" violations are easy to suspend players for... You do not need a conviction or an arrest. What goes on in Goodells courtroom has absolutely nothing to do with what would go on in a legal court of law.
Once again: When the NFLPA gave Goodell soul godlike powers with no check in place, they game him the legal right to do WTF he wants.
The ONLY entity that has the power to sway or remove Goodell is the collective 32 owners.
Even a "pay for performance" is a conduct violation.
You are totally right. But right now, player council has to stick up for the players, with every ounce of strength they have, and fans, writers and people need to keep up the noise and keep calling Goodell out on his jive. Because in the big picture, the more stink this thing has, the longer it goes on, the more it becomes a you-know-what-ing match between Goodell and Vilma and the NFLPA, which Goodell keeps losing at every turn, then the more embarrassing it becomes for the whole league, and the more likely the 32 owners will be inclined to let the GROWN UPS in the room handle this matter, and go in a room somewhere themselves and take action to resolve this thing, clean up Goodell's mess, and make the scandal go away.
The NFLPA should keep this up. They should fight it at every turn. Every chance a player has to mention this thing they should mention it.
Because Roger HAS to be stopped. :bng:
Well, all I can say is, that if I was a player, and I saw that clause in the CBA, there is no way in Hades, I would have ever agreed to it.... Some people call it hell, I call it hades.......
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