James Harrison, Clay Matthews, and Julius Peppers, who were named in the Al Jazeera report on doping, will meet with the league after the NFL threatened to suspend them for a lack of cooperation, according to a letter sent by the NFLPA today.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the three players will submit to interviews about the PED allegations against them. Former Green Bay Packer and current free agent Mike Neal “is not meeting with the NFL,” per Mike Florio.
In a letter sent to the NFL on behalf of Harrison, the NFLPA said (emphasis theirs):
We write in response to your August 15th letter about the NFL’s investigation of Mr. Harrison, which is based upon a twenty-five second clip from an hour-long story broadcast by Al-Jazeera, in which one individual (who subsequently recanted all of his remarks) was secretly recorded making baseless, false allegations about Mr. Harrison.
Your most recent letter, distributed to the media before providing it to Mr. Harrison and the NFLPA, confirmed our understanding that, rather than act with the integrity, respect, and thoughtful diligence that an employer such as the NFL should, the League has instead decided to ignore its collectively-bargained agreements and try to bully and publicly “shame” a veteran player-employee who has repeatedly asked a simple, eminently reasonable question about his employer’s investigation:
Is the NFL aware of any credible evidence - other than the recanted remarks by one individual shown by Al-Jazeera - that indicates that there is any validity to the remarks about Mr. Harrison?
Despite the NFL’s attempt to assert authority for which it never bargained, and its embarrassing refusal to thoughtfully consider the fair question and viewpoint of a man who has performed his job in a public arena at the highest level for over fifteen years, Mr. Harrison has decided that he will try to end this witch hunt and distraction to his team.
The league initially gave an interview deadline of August 25; the NFLPA letter states that Harrison agreed to an interview at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ facility on August 30.
The NFLPA’s full letter is below.