PHOENIX — NFL Players Association president Eric Winston says the league’s new personal conduct policy “violates the (collective bargaining agreement) in several ways, and we’re going to be grieving this as far as we can.”
The union filed a grievance against the NFL last week over changes to the policy. NFL owners unanimously approved the changes in December.
“We have an agreement with the league, and they have an agreement with us,” Winston said. “We’re going to hold them to that agreement. Many aspects of this policy fall outside of the CBA, and we’re going to continue fighting it going forward.”
The union and the league have been at odds over the personal conduct policy since both groups began navigating the Ray Rice domestic violence case and later Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case.
After dealing with both issues, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct will be included in the policy, as well as specific criteria for paid leave for anyone charged with a violent crime.
A suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence will be in effect, but with consideration given to mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
“We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy,” the league said in a statement last week. “Clearly, the union does not share that belief.”
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith also revealed that no players on the New England Patriots were interviewed regarding DeflateGate because the league wanted to wait until after the Super Bowl. He said each player will have a union lawyer with them.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
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