The first tactic to try and poke holes in Roger Goodell’s punishment of players for the Saints bounty program has failed. The first order was to try and claim that Roger Goodell didn’t have standing to punish players under the current form of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Specifically, the players were questioning whether the current CBA gave Goodell standing over actions that took place under prior agreements.
“System Arbitrator Stephen Burbank upheld the commissioner’s authority under the Collective Bargaining Agreement to impose ‘conduct detrimental’ discipline on players who provided or offered to provide financial incentives to injure opponents,” the league explains. ”He also upheld the commissioner’s authority to impose such discipline against players who obstructed a league investigation. The System Arbitrator thus confirmed the commissioner’s authority to suspend Mr. Fujita, Mr. Smith and Mr. Vilma. He invited the commissioner to clarify the precise basis for his discipline of Mr. Hargrove who, among other things, was found to have lied to the league’s investigators and obstructed their investigation.”
So the first path that Fujita and his fellow players have taken appears to be fruitless. We’ll see if they have any other ideas up their sleeve to get relief from the punishments handed down by Roger Goodell and the NFL.
Fair or not, it appears that short of suing the NFL in real court, Scott Fujita might just have to accept that he is subject to the whims of the Commissioner.