NFLPA files lawsuit against NFL over Bounty suspensions
So far, the suspended players have taken their appeals to be heard in front of two arbitrators, who voted in favor of Roger Goodell. The NFL maintained that the suspensions on the bounty program fall under the CBA’s personal-conduct policy, which crowns Roger Goodell as the final authority with the option to penalize on the matter. However, the NFLPA argues that due to the NFL’s mishandling of the bounty program investigation, the matter has turned into a "rare case" which calls for the two arbitrator’s rulings to be dismissed in the lawsuit proceedings. The NFLPA maintained that the judge should appoint new arbitrators to form a decision on the matter.
The NFLPA stated there is "no basis for asking a federal court to put its judgment in place of the procedures agreed upon with the NFLPA in collective bargaining."
The Lawsuit against the NFL was filed Thursday at the federal court in New Orleans. The NFLPA based its argument that Roger Goodell’s hasty act of passing a judgment along with a one-year suspension for Jonathan Vilma, eight for Anthony Hargrove, four for Will Smith and three for Scott Fujita, before performing his arbitrator duties in the hearing violates the terms of the CBA. The NFLPA marks Roger Goodell’s ruling on the bounty scandal as an “improper attempt to litigate."
In the 55-page lawsuit, the NFLPA wrote that when serving as the arbitrator, Roger Goodell’s actions were “unfair … bias and without jurisdiction.” Roger Goodell showed complete “disregard” for the player’s rights during the course of the hearing.
The NFLPA followed in its lawsuit that Roger Goodell couldn’t have been a viable arbitrator in the bounty hearings since he "launched a public campaign defending the punishments he intended to arbitrate, rendering him incurably and evidently biased."
The lawsuit also recapped the NFLPA’s assertion that according to the CBA, the bounty allegations should have been looked-upon by a system arbitrator instead of Roger Goodell, who improperly usurped" his authority in the course of the hearing.
The four suspended players have time and time again “categorically” any part in a “pay-per-performance” bounty program rewarding players for hits and taking out opponents. The NFLPA stated that it would never protect players involved in such activities.
"The investigation and arbitration process that the Commissioner's public relations machinery touted as 'thorough and fair' has, in reality, been a sham," the NFLPA wrote in the lawsuit.