NFL Players Association president Eric Winston said on SportsCenter that he believes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's credibility is "definitely lacking" with current players, according to CBS Sports.
On Friday, former Ravens running back Ray Rice won his appeal of an indefinite suspension handed down by Goodell, and Judge Barbara Jones wrote in her decision that she believed Rice told the truth to Goodell during a June meeting, making a second suspension of Rice following the release of video "arbitrary."
Winston said Goodell's handling of Rice's discipline "isn't a one-off," citing when the commissioner was overruled twice during bounty gate.
"So this is a pattern that now has formed," said Winston. "And I think it's important for people to understand that this isn't a one-off situation, that unfortunately, this is something that has continued on and I think the players look at that and they're confused, they're angry, they're frustrated because they know that if unfortunate circumstances do arise, they might be subject to this unfair process."
Goodell will not be hearing the appeal of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is appealing his season-long suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Former NFL executive vice president for labor relations Harold Henderson will hear the case instead, and the NFLPA said Henderson cannot be a neutral arbitrator.
"You have to take into account the other side's positions on what they might consider very important, just like we did everything else," said Winston. ... "But for whatever reason, and I have my suspicions, now all of a sudden the league doesn't want neutral arbitration in an area where they keep getting overturned in."
Peterson's hearing has been set for Dec. 2.
- Molly Geary