The NFL's New Disciplinary Rules Require A Flowchart

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The NFL unveiled changes to its personal conduct policy, and all you need to know about Roger Goodell and the owners is that they think their biggest failing in this year's domestic-violence scandals was not having enough power.

Here are your bullet points of the new policy, which the owner were able to alter without consulting the NFLPA, because the NFLPA collectively bargained away that right in 2011. (Good job!)

  • The NFL will "no longer defer entirely to the decisions of the criminal justice system," instead "embrac[ing] the use of independent investigations" of players accused of crimes and violations.
  • There will be aSpecial Counsel for Investigations and Conduct to handle all player discipline. That position will be filled soon, with the candidates vetted and hired by the league. Roger Goodell will still hear and rule on appeals.
  • A committee of nine owners, headed by Cardinals president and former prosecutor Michael Bidwill, will oversee the personal conduct policy.
  • A six-game suspension is codified for violations involving "assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, other forms of family violence, or sexual assault."
  • If a player is "formally charged with a crime of violence," he will be suspended, with pay.

Still confused? It's motherfucking flowchart time.


Still confused? Get fucked; the NFL continues to run shit and gets to make things up as it goes along.

The NFLPA has been furious about its lack of involvement in changes to the personal conduct policy, and the union leadership did not even get to see the revised policy until it was announced today. But, despite the policy being entirely in the league's hands per 2011 CBA negotiations, the NFLPA is not helpless to challenge parts of it.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA immediately will study the new policy in search of any provisions that potentially constitute topics that would be mandatory subjects of collective bargaining. If the union believes that the NFL has included terms that relate to subjects requiring bargaining with the union, the NFLPA will file a "system arbitration" proceeding under the labor deal, initiate an action with the National Labor Relations Board, or both.


Here is Goodell's full memo to owners.