NFL union wants change on personal conduct policy

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2014 4:45 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players' union wants to negotiate with the league in changing the personal conduct policy.

In a memo sent to each NFLPA player representative and executive board member, and obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the union cites the NFL's "mismanagement" of several incidents, including the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases.

The memo contends the league has "inconsistencies that have led to the lack of credibility and damage to our brand."

The union says the league has not complied with the labor agreement reached in 2011 in regard to personal conduct discipline. The memo mentions "imposed superficial changes to the adjudication process," apparently referring to Commissioner Roger Goodell installing stronger punishment for first-time offenders of the policy.

The NFL did not immediately respond to the union's memo.

Goodell announced in August a stiffer penalty for players involved with domestic violence after originally suspending Rice for two games for punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. Goodell acknowledged the punishment was too lenient. The guideline now calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense.

"We remain committed to discussing these issues with the league and the NFL owners," the union memo said, "and will continue to call on them to recognize collective bargaining as the best and only solution to the issues of prevention, education, due process and discipline."

The union believes the league has ignored "due diligence and due process" in its handling of cases under the personal conduct policy. The memo accuses the NFL of refusing to honor an agreement in Peterson's case, and it calls for "a full and fair hearing before a neutral arbitrator" for all players in all disciplinary cases.

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