FanDuel - WFBC

May 04, 2012

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 23 comments

NFLPA continues giving unions a bad name

posted by kokaku at 09:58 AM on May 04

One time this guy at my job completely lost his mind and started screaming and threatening a female colleague. Management took disciplinary action and suspended him, and the union successfully defended him. I don't really understand such things.

posted by bperk at 10:20 AM on May 04

One time this guy at my job completely lost his mind and started screaming and threatening a female colleague. Management took disciplinary action and suspended him, and the union successfully defended him. I don't really understand such things.

Unions lean more toward the (technical/classical) work of defense attorneys -- defend everyone to the best of your ability, even if he's a scumbag who committed the crime and will certainly commit another if freed -- than prosecutors -- prosecute only those cases where you believe the person is guilty* -- because that's how an adversarial system tends to work: one side is totally committed to its side, truth be damned, because the other side might be as well. The two balance each other out.

* -- Yes, I know things don't really work this way, but they're supposed to.

posted by Etrigan at 10:25 AM on May 04

Great. Use the legal system to get the suspensions overturned.

Any word if New Orleans or Federal prosecutors are considering conspiracy and battery charges?

posted by cixelsyd at 10:45 AM on May 04

ESPN explains they don't talk about hockey because they don't talk about hockey and no one cares except people who do.

Any word if New Orleans or Federal prosecutors are considering conspiracy and battery charges?

Yes, here's the word: No. We've had this discussion with every hockey suspension and the answer's still "No". How is the NFLPA giving unions a bad name by appealing the suspensions? That's the whole point of a union, to collectively defend its members. In addition, regardless of whether the suspensions are right or wrong, there's a legitimate point to be made about someone being both judge and jury. It's a rigged game in this case. What would be wrong about letting an outside arbiter look at the evidence?

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on May 04

ESPN explains they don't talk about hockey because they don't talk about hockey and no one cares except people who do.

I feel really dirty right now, because I want to give Deadspin a great big hug.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:10 AM on May 04

The NFLPA would be a better union if they just immediately rolled over and did whatever the NFL recommends out of a twisted sense of propriety.

posted by feloniousmonk at 11:35 AM on May 04

How is the NFLPA giving unions a bad name by appealing the suspensions? That's the whole point of a union, to collectively defend its members.

I'm pretty sure QBs are members of the NFLPA. What the union is defending is the aggressive, violent members of the NFLPA from punishment for trying to hurt other members of the NFLPA. That makes no sense to me.

posted by bperk at 11:54 AM on May 04

The NFLPA is looking to overturn the suspensions on a technical legality, the fact that the offenses occurred under a previous CBA and are therefore not punishable by the NFL.

The NFLPA would be a better union if they just immediately rolled over and did whatever the NFL recommends

The NFLPA should have the interests of the majority of it's members when addressing issues. Supporting bounties on it's members by a few renegade members wouldn't appear in it's best interest from an outsider's viewpoint.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:14 PM on May 04

there's a legitimate point to be made about someone being both judge and jury.

That might be a fun discussion ,but then they should've made that point before agreeing to it in the CBA. Your judge-and-jury stance is fair, in a vacuum, but that's not what this grievance is about - not just my opinion, but look at the details of the grievance. So, turns out out to be simply "even thought we allowed it in the CBA, we don't like anything-Goodell, plus we have to stand up for our players, who feel they got the shaft (even though what they participated in is afront to other players), so we're throwing a couple loopholes against the wall and hope they stick." That's why, despite an acknowledgement of the union's purpose, some folks might have a foul taste from this kind of gamesmanship.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:40 PM on May 04

They're supporting the best interests of their members by upholding their legal obligations under their agreements with the league. I don't think this is a value judgement about the morality of bounty programs. The union is saying that the NFL doesn't have the authority under the CBA to do this, and if they don't defend their interpretation of the CBA, from their perspective they're failing their entire membership. Management and labor are in an inherently adversarial relationship and this just seems like the logical outgrowth of the scenario.

posted by feloniousmonk at 12:44 PM on May 04

What the union is defending is the aggressive, violent members of the NFLPA

[citation needed]

posted by yerfatma at 12:48 PM on May 04

The joy of victory. The agony of defeat.

posted by rcade at 12:59 PM on May 04

Continuing the pratfalls, I present London mayor Boris Johnson playing soccer.

posted by rcade at 02:22 PM on May 04

London mayor Boris Johnson

Keeping with my Spinal Tap theme today, is it just me, or is Boris Johnson one cold sore away from being a dead ringer for David St. Hubbins?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:33 PM on May 04

The Mariners are doing it right tonight.

posted by yerfatma at 04:12 PM on May 04

I can't speak for all unions, but when I was head of my union I was clear on one major point. My job wasn't to defend union members, per se, but to defend the contract.

To this end, if an employee screwed up badly but, in the process of terminating that employee, our employer violated the contract, I was obligated to follow up on that. This is not to say that the termination would necessarily be reversed, but if I didn't follow up on that I was putting the Union in a position where if the employer did this again, they would be able to make a legal argument citing the earlier precedent.

And, historically, our employer had done just that when the Union had let something slide.

Even if the employer did everything by the book, if the terminated employee contested their termination, both union and employer were bound by the contract to go through a certain process to ensure that the termination was contractually proper. While this process could, with some justification, have been characterized the union defending the terminated employee, the reality was that we were bound by the terms of the contract to follow this course.

I can't speak for the NFLPA, but I suspect that they are similarly bound to defend the contract even for the lousy employees. If they didn't, they would be negligent in their responsibilities. It doesn't necessarily mean they like it, but I think NFL ownership has demonstrated a willingness to press any advantage they have against NFLPA (and, yes, vice versa). If I were an officer in the NFLPA, I would do everything in my power to make sure the contract had been respected lest my lack of action came back to bite the NFLPA later.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:14 PM on May 04

(that said, fuck those guys who set and pursued bounties)

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:14 PM on May 04

That makes a lot of sense, JM.

posted by bperk at 04:30 PM on May 04

Well said, JM

posted by cixelsyd at 12:06 AM on May 05

Ditto, JM.

/Also a former head of my union.

posted by owlhouse at 04:11 AM on May 05

My particular challenge was dealing with people who only joined the union so that they could lodge a grievance with management. Prior to that, they didn't give a shit about the union.

posted by owlhouse at 04:28 AM on May 06

so that they could lodge a grievance with management

Dude, don't get me started...

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:05 AM on May 06

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.