The Players Association of the NFL filed suit against the NFL on behalf of three suspended players in connection with investigation of an alleged “bounty” program. The suit called Roger Goodell the commissioner of the league evidently and incurably biased.
The Association’s lawsuit was filed in a New Orleans federal court on Thursday and said that Goodell had violated the league’s labor agreement by showing he had decided Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith participated in the bounty system, prior to serving as the arbitrator at the player’s hearing.
The League called the suite an improper attempt at litigation. Gregg Aiello a spokesman for the NFL said that the procedures used have been used for years and served both the players and the game well.
The NFLPA lawsuit asks for the prior arbitration hearings to be set aside and order the selection of another arbitrator to preside. The suit was filed just two days after Commissioner Goodell denied the appeals of four players. Jonathan Vilma, the fourth player has already sued both Goodell and the NFL separately. The lawsuits have been consolidated and included the initial defamation suit of Vilma against Goodell, which the commissioner denied.
The motion stated that Vilma could not make such claims because of the NFL’s labor agreement dispute resolution process, which bars player lawsuits against the league. Vilma received a suspension for the entire season, Hargrove was given eight games, Smith received four and Fujita was suspended for three. Both Smith and Vilma play in New Orleans, Fujita in Cleveland and Hargrove in Green Bay.