Roger Goodell and his ‘Judge Dredd’ style of discipline may soon end

Roger Goodell has only one intention when he assumed a post as NFL’s Commissioner and that is to carry out a stricter style of discipline against players on and off the field. His “Iron fist” style of disciplining may soon find its end as the NFL and the NFL Players Association are working on a deal that will limit Goodell’s powers on the matter.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that both the NFL and the NFLPA has not yet reached a deal but the NFLPA are determined to strip off Goodell’s power over “off-the-field” player discipline and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is optimistic they would soon reach an agreement.

“We’ve been talking about changes to the personal conduct policy since October and have traded proposals. We looked at the league’s proposal for neutral arbitration. There is a common ground for us to get something done,” Smith said.

Members of the NFLPA in the recent years do not agree with Goodell’s style of handling down disciplinary actions towards players. Smith proposes that there would be three members of the panel that would hear the player’s case and collectively decide on the matter and hear appeals.

The panels would include neutral personalities such as lawyers, who have background on the sport, so as not to step on the rights of the players as well. Unlike the current system, which is covered by the collective bargaining agreement, Goodell is depicted like to the movie character “Judge Dredd,” as he is both the judge and jury on matters about players.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy in a statement, related that the concern is taken up thoroughly with full consideration of all stakeholders and will continue to discuss the matter with the NFLPA.

“This is an important area that deserves to be addressed thoughtfully and with full consideration for everyone’s interests — players, clubs and fans. We are addressing the subject in a serious way and will continue to discuss this directly with the union and not in the media,” McCarthy added.

Goodell assumed office as NFL’s Commissioner in Sept.1, 2006 after being chosen over four finalists for the place to succeed Paul Tagliabue. The 57-year old Jamestown, New Yorker is considered to sports analysts are the “most powerful man in sports.”

Photo Courtesy: Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail, USAF/Wikimedia

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