11/06/2017 – If I were The NFL Commissioner
For the purposes of this discussion consider all “on the field players” under the CBA union contract the responsibility of the owners and the commissioner, as “employees”. The following are changes I would make as Commissioner of the NFL.
1 – I would only meet with representatives of the employees union about CBA contract issues during the season for purposes of discussing the NEXT CBA contract.
2 – If Employees/Players have any personal problems they will direct them through the correct channels of their team. Each team has the right to deal with personal situations not covered under the CBA providing it does not affect the CBA contract.
3 – I would do away with any “process” that had to do with any off field criminal concerns and put in place a standard rule of the following; if any employee/player is “arrested” for any reason or crime they would be suspended for ONE game. If they settled out of court for that “arrest” that would add another THREE games to the suspension (Total 4 games) if convicted of a crime they would be suspended for 6 games (Total 7 games) after whatever penalty the court deems necessary has been completed. The NFL is not the moral compass of the United States. The NFL will follow whatever laws and respect the court process and penalties for any crime committed and will not deny players the right to continue careers after they have committed or been convicted of a crime. Teams WILL have the right to sign any player that is a free agent after that player has completed any penalties by the courts. Like any business in the US, NFL teams will also have the right NOT to sign any player if they feel that player would not be a positive addition to its team. There would be no “Process” for employees to disagree or agree with by doing this. I would do this right away under the auspices of Federal Human Resource guidelines for any business in the US.
4 – All scoring plays would continue be under review and verified. All sideline passes with question of two feet in bounds and control of the ball will be reviewed automatically. That’s it, no more “coach’s challenge” and no more taking away of time outs. No more unnecessary reviews that relies on opinions by anyone other than an on the field official.
5 – If a player is penalized for any “Illegal hit” the team will be penalized 15 yards and the player will be held out of the game until the first three and out. That means if a team goes 8 plays and scores a TD or Field goal in the process of a player making an illegal hit and penalized, that player stays out for all 8 plays or until a TD, field goal or that offense’s first three is completed. There will be no monetary penalties for plays on the field, unless that is a CBA contract stipulation in place now. All called illegal hits will be held to standards of, Crown of the helmet and intent. Decisions will be made by independent officials in the booth only when the call on the field includes BOTH Crown of the helmet AND intent. If penalty is just issued for crown of the helmet without intent added than penalty is just 15 yards.
6 – Unsportsmanlike penalties, team penalized 15 yards and guilty player or players expelled from the field for 1 full quarter (15 minutes total) in present game, if committed with less than 15 minutes on the clock (4 th Q) than left over minutes from 15, will proceed to following game.
7 – If the player penalized for “unsportsmanlike or illegal hits penalties enters the field before penalty phase is completed during that game or has another “Illegal Hit” in the present game, they will be thrown out of that game. If player enters the present game with less than 15 minutes left on his penalty (4th Q) he will be suspended for the next game with pay.
8 – Players severing any suspensions from on or off field indiscretions will still be allowed to participate in all practices and use of facilities at the discretion of the team providing there are no insurance issues.
9 – Standing for the US Anthem and flag ceremonies and for any countries flag or anthem ceremony will be mandatory. A letter to all employees signed and from all owners and the commissioner will follow to explain in detail how to stand with respect for any and all countries anthem and flag ceremonies. Once the letter is sent any player not adhering to the letter and not standing with respect for any countries flag ceremony will be considered “insubordinate” and will receive one game suspension with pay. This will be done under the auspices of a ruling by The Supreme Court that, the first amendment is irrelevant when it comes to employment. Player’s/employees working for a private company, kneeling in uniform, at game time, falls under this definition. Nobody is suggesting that the players don’t have rights to protest. What the Supreme Court ruling is saying is that when employees are representing a business, protesting personal issues on business time and pay can be limited or denied by the employer.
10 – In the next CBA contract, standing for all countries anthem and flag ceremonies while in uniform when representing any NFL team will be written into the new CBA with consequences for failure to do so making it more than just an “Insubordination” issue.