In the wake of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, things between the NFL and the NFL Players Association have been as good as they have been for years. However, all good things come to an end.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Deshaun Watson case has driven a major wedge between competition and union. The relationship has deteriorated significantly with the NFL’s decision to appeal the ruling four days ago by retired Federal Judge Sue L. Robinson, the retired Personal Conduct Policy disciplinary officer.
The union should not be surprised that it has gone this way. The 2020 CBA changed the disciplinary process but allowed the league to retain full jurisdiction over the appeals process. Did the union really think it would choose not to exercise the power it had counted on?
Aside from the potential consequences of not being strict enough on players who violate women’s rights, the NFL generally doesn’t practice sacrificing its power. It exercises its power as a reminder that: (1) it has the power; and (2) if the union wants to change the situation, there is a way to do it – by giving up something else for it.
Under the line? The NFLPA left the league in control of the appeals process. It would be foolish for the union to think that the league would just voluntarily throw it out — especially in a case like this.
Deshaun Watson Case Damaged NFL Relationship, NFLPA Originally Appeared on Pro Football Talk