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NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith: Discipline process 'unfair and arbitrary'


In a radio interview on Monday, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith was critical of the way the league disciplines players for off-field incidents. Smith, speaking on the Dan Patrick Show shortly after Adrian Peterson's suspension was announced, called the NFL's disciplinary process "unfair and arbitrary."

Asked for his reaction to the news of Peterson's suspension, Smith said he was "surprised at the lack of a consistent process." Smith also said he believed the NFL was "making it up as it goes along" and that commissioner Roger Goodell​'s disciplinary decisions have been "inconsistent not only with the CBA, but inconsistent with himself."​

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Smith referred not only to Peterson's suspension, but also to Ray Rice's. In August, Goodell announced a new domestic violence policy under which players would be suspended six games for a first offense. Smith pointed out that Rice, the first player subjected to the new policy, was instead given an indefinite suspension.

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In the Peterson case, Smith said that the league "created a new policy and procedure that is not collectively bargained and is inconsistent with the CBA."

Smith noted that franchise owners are not subjected to disciplinary standards. "When our players see owners treated differently that players, that's a problem," Smith said. Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended for six games after he was arrested for DWI and possession of prescription painkillers. 

- Dan Gartland