As the head of the NFL Players Association, it is DeMaurice Smith’s responsibility to do the best he can to represent each and every player around the league. Often times, this means going up against commissioner Roger Goodell.
This is now the case, especially after the league has refused to step in on the whole Jim Irsay situation. If you remember correctly, the Indianapolis Colts owner was arrested for driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance back in March. He was just charged with two misdemeanors and faces up to 60 days in jail.
The NFL is yet to respond and Smith makes it perfectly clear how the players feel about that (via ESPN).
The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League now,” Smith said. “I think what troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player, there isn’t the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that’s a problem.
It might be a tremendous double standard, but in a lot of cases the NFL waits until charges are filed before making the decision to take action. In Irsay’s case, charges were filed less than a week ago. Though, it’s also important to note that the league holds executives to a higher standard than players, which is yet another reason for Smith speaking out on the situation.
If Irsay gets off without any punishment, the players have a legitimate gripe. It would been seen as the power elites protecting fellow power elites, while the worker faces the grunt of the penalties. That wouldn’t sit well with anyone involved.
Photo: Brian Spurlock, USA Today