NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a press release on Wednesday that the league’s 32 owners passed a new personal conduct policy. This new policy will be placed under a microscope following the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations earlier in the year.
In an email to the public, Goodell had this to say.
Today at a league meeting in Dallas, our teams unanimously endorsed a revised and strengthened Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees. The policy was developed after an extensive series of meetings and discussions over the past four months with a wide range of experts and others inside and outside of the NFL, including current and former players, the NFL Players Association, domestic violence/sexual assault experts and advocates, law enforcement officials, academic experts, and business leaders. The revised policy is clear, consistent, accountable and transparent and applies to everyone including owners, general managers, coaches, players, other team employees, game officials, and all league employees.
Here is an outline of the policy that was distributed Wednesday morning.
The league also outlined the necessary steps should a case come under review, which includes counseling for those impacted by player conduct off the field (domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse). Individuals charged with on of those three crimes would also have to meet a specific criteria in order to be eligible for paid leave. As you know, Adrian Peterson (child abuse) and Greg Hardy (domestic violence allegations) have been getting paid under the current policy.
The commissioner will also appoint an NFL executive with a criminal justice background to hand down initial suspensions. Needless to say, this sends the wrong message to a players association that has demanded independent arbitration.
And as it relates to the NFLPA, it appears to have been blindsided by Wednesday’s announcement (via CBS Sports).
Our union has not been offered the professional courtesy of seeing the NFL’s new personal conduct policy before it hit the presses. Their unilateral decision and conduct today is the only thing that has been consistent over the past few months.
NFL general council Jeff Pash (the league’s top lawyer) then responded to that claim by indicating that the league had sent the policy to the players association before it was made public.
We sent (the NFLPA) the policy. Numerous meetings with them. The union knows every element we’re talking about.
Here’s a copy of the new personal conduct policy.
Photo: USA Today