It was inevitable.
We all knew this was coming.
In a totally predictable and completely unsurprising move, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a lawsuit against the NFL on Thursday. The paperwork, which was filed on behalf of three players who were suspended in connection with the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal, alleges that Commissioner Roger Goodell was ''incurably and evidently biased'' from the onset.
According to the lawsuit, Goodell violated the current labor agreement when he deemed that Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita had participated in Bountygate right before then going on to serve as an arbitrator in their hearing.
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Per Yahoo! Sports:
The NFL said the action is an ''improper attempt to litigate'' and said there is ''no basis for asking a federal court to put its judgment in place of the procedures agreed upon with the NFLPA in collective bargaining.''
''These procedures have been in place, and have served the game and players well, for many decades,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press.
The lawsuit asks a judge to set aside earlier arbitration rulings and order a new arbitrator to preside over the matter.
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''A seminal question for this court is whether the NFL collective bargaining agreement ... granted the commissioner, when serving as an arbitrator, the authority to disregard the essence of the parties' agreement, to conduct proceedings that are fundamentally unfair, and to act with evident bias and without jurisdiction,'' the lawsuit states. ''The answer, under governing case law, is clearly 'no.'''
It’s been amazing to watch the NFL turn the alleged Bountygate participants into victims over the last few months. Between Goodell serving as judge, jury and executioner without even pretending that there is a fair appeals process in place, and the lack of legitimate, substantive proof provided regarding what had actually been done, the league has botched this whole thing in hilarious fashion.
An issue that should have been done and forgotten months ago is going to come back and bite the NFL in a big way.
Book it: this story isn’t going anywhere.
(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)