NFLPA will pay for Chad Ochocinco's fine for wearing Chris Henry's jersey on Sunday, which could lead to federal problems

12/19/09 in NFL   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

Let me just say I'm totally on board with this. Chad Ochocinco wants to wear Chris Henry's jersey on Sunday to honor his dead teammate. I think it's a touching tribute from a guy who knew Henry very well, not a "look at me now" stunt.

Regardless of that, the NFL has already stated that if Ochocinco wears Henry's jersey this Sunday, they'll fine the crap out of him.

Since then, the NFL Players Association has come out and said "Suck it, NFL. We'll pay Ochocinco's fine for him."

And that's where things get messy. See, NFL fines are taken directly out of  a player's paycheck. So technically that means the NFLPA would be paying Ochocinco, not the NFL, which is kind of complicated. As Pro Football Talk says:

The union is a federally-regulated non-profit entity that must answer not only to the government but also to its members, a direct payment to a player who was fined for engaging in conduct that violates the unambiguous content of league rules might invite scrutiny from one or more federal agencies -- especially if neither NFLPA Executive Director De Smith nor the union's Executive Committee possess the authority to make such payments directly to individual players.

What this really comes down to is that the NFLPA wants to look good in the public eye as we head towards the 2011 lockout. So how much they really care about Ochocinco's plight or Chris Henry is debatable - since this is great PR.

But this whole situation may turn ugly quickly, and it really won't have much of anything to do with Ochocinco or Henry. It'll just become yet another battle between the NFLPA and the NFL.
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