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Anyone else tired of Goodell's persecution of Williams & Williams?

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  • Anyone else tired of Goodell's persecution of Williams & Williams?

    I am as opposed to doping in sports as anyone - but it has to be fair. This case has gone from stupid to downright ridiculous and is showing an ugly and petty side of Goodell in my opinion.

    I am of course referring to the ongoing case where commissioner Goodell is trying to ban Minnesota's Pat & Kevin Williams from playing for substance abuse over taking a dietary supplement that can be used to mask doping (i.e the supplement is not considered performance-enhancing on its own). Charles Grant & Will Smith of New Orleans are in a similar situation. One point that makes this case different than other substance abuse cases however is that the supplement in question does not list the prohibited ingredient anywhere on the label. Williams & Williams even specifically checked with the NFL and got confirmation that they could take the supplement as it was not known to contain anything illegal (see linked article). How on earth were they supposed to know? Did they have any fair chance of knowing exactly what it contained, didn't they check this as thoroughly as you can expect from a player? In my opinion they couldn't have known and did what they could to check it. It would be fair to sue the producer of the supplement for not providing full disclosure but with the facts of this case as I know them (and feel free to let me know if I'm missing any details here) there is no way Williams & Williams should be punished at all.

    Now so far the courts have not allowed Goodell to suspend Williams & Williams. But now the latest news is that Goodell is lobbying to change labor law to keep courts from interfering and allow him to suspend the players in question regardless (see linked article).

    Isn't it time Goodell admits that he is wrong and backs down? He may lose a little face, and I think that's a main reason he continues this ridiculous case, but come on at some point this madness has to stop and the sooner the better. This case is already about a year old and it must be stressful for the players to have this lawsuit and potential suspension constantly looming over their heads.

    Man up Goodell, admit you were wrong, apologize and then move on. Keep on finding and punishing the players that knowingly use doping but leave the players alone in the (rare) cases such as this one where they were acting in good-faith.

    APNewsBreak: Goodell to Seek Change in Labor Law
    Published: November 2, 2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to ask Congress for legislation that would protect collective bargaining agreements from state law challenges, like the one that led to blocking the suspensions of two players who tested positive for banned substances.

    ''We believe that a specific and tailored amendment to the Labor Management Relations Act is appropriate and necessary to protect collectively bargained steroid policies from attack under state law,'' Goodell said in prepared testimony for a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing Tuesday. He said that recent court decisions ''call into question the continued viability of the steroid policies of the NFL and other national sports organizations.''

    A copy of Goodell's testimony was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

    The NFL had attempted to suspend Minnesota Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for four games, but the players sued the league in state court, arguing the league's testing violated Minnesota laws. The case was moved to federal court, and the NFL players union filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of the Williamses and New Orleans Saints players who were also suspended.

    In May, a federal judge dismissed the union's lawsuit and several claims in the Williamses' case -- but sent two claims involving Minnesota workplace laws back to state court. A judge there issued an injunction prohibiting the NFL from suspending the players and has scheduled the trial for March 8. In September, a federal appeals court panel agreed with those decisions, essentially allowing the Williamses to continue playing while the case proceeds in state court.

    The use of state law to block the suspensions, Goodell said, ''illustrates with compelling force the need for legislation here.'' He complained that the Williamses, who are not related, are able to work under different conditions than players outside Minnesota.

    ''Professional athletes and their collective bargaining representatives should not be permitted to manipulate state statutes as a means to gain a competitive advantage,'' Goodell said.

    He also criticized the NFL Players Association.

    ''With the help of the NFLPA, the Vikings players have been able to prolong their litigation for almost one year now,'' Goodell said.

    Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, also discussed a legislative remedy in his testimony, saying, ''a narrowly drafted statute could solve the problem faced by professional sports'' while preserving the role of collective bargaining in drug programs without interfering with states' prerogatives.

    The Vikings players tested positive in 2008 for the diuretic bumetanide, which is banned by the NFL because it can mask the presence of steroids. The players acknowledged taking the over-the-counter weight loss supplement StarCaps, which did not state on the label that it contained bumetanide. Neither player is accused of taking steroids.

    The court ruling led the NFL to allow New Orleans defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith, who had also been issued four-game suspensions, to continue playing. Both players tested positive after using StarCaps.

    DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players union, said that this case differs from others. He said that Dr. John Lombardo, who oversees the league's steroid policy, learned that StarCaps contained bumetanide, but did not inform the players.

    ''Frankly, the fundamental failure of that doctor to ensure immediate disclosure of the fact that StarCaps included bumetanide violated his paramount duty as a doctor -- to protect patients, in this case, our players,'' Smith said in his prepared testimony, also obtained by The AP. Smith said the league should have instructed people answering its hot line about what was in StarCaps.

    Smith called for changes to the league-union steroid policy that would mandate the NFL notify players when it learns that a product contains a banned substance. He also said that disputes should be handled by outside, impartial arbitration, rather than the commissioner or his designee.

    ''There must be measures put in place to assure that the dangers of a given product, once they become known, must be revealed to the players immediately,'' Smith said.

    Michael Weiner, general counsel at the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that legislation is unnecessary. A bill to pre-empt state law, he argued, ''would stand for the unusual proposition that parties to a collective bargaining agreement can contract for that which is illegal under state law.''

    Weiner, who is scheduled to replace Donald Fehr as union head during the offseason, said that a product like StarCaps should never have been allowed on the market in the first place and argued that the current regulation of supplements is not working.
    Last edited by HUbison; -11-03-2009, 06:06 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Anyone else tired of Goodell's persecution of Williams & Williams?

    With every other problem in the NFL completely solved, Roger Goodell can now focus his entire attention on this case.

    Seriously, they checked with the NFL and got the ok! That should be enough. Time to face your mistake, Goodell.


    • #3
      Re: Anyone else tired of Goodell's persecution of Williams & Williams?

      Vobora claimed the samer thing and he got suspended. What's the difference between them and him?


      • #4
        Re: Anyone else tired of Goodell's persecution of Williams & Williams?

        Another example of Goodell trying to be dictator of NFL