Late last week, the NFL got all huffy and told everyone they were going to interview the players implicated in a “drug ring” by an Al Jazeera report, last December. Those players include Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, who will supposedly be interviewed on the first day of training camp.
The players involved don’t seem to have any issue with talking to the league. The NFLPA, on the other hand, does have an issue with them talking to the league.
And rightly so.
The league is investigating this matter based upon a news report. A report in which the central source has since recanted his statements. And that seems to be the league’s only reason for investigating, since they haven’t produced any other evidence to implicate anyone in anything.
On Monday, the NFLPA fired a shot across the NFL’s bow, essentially stating that they will advise their players not to cooperate if they don’t feel like it.
The NFL has chosen to initiate an investigation of these players based upon now-recanted statements that appeared in an Al Jazeera report. The NFLPA requested from the NFL any additional evidence supporting an investigation of the players; the NFL did not provide any such evidence, nor did they inform the NFLPA or the players that any such evidence exists. Instead, the NFL has decided to publicly pressure the players into submission. We will continue to advise our players about their rights and hold the NFL accountable.
On one hand, the NFL can pretty much do whatever it wants. On the other, and this is the side that we would fall on here — where do you draw the line? What constitutes the appropriate amount of evidence to warrant an investigation?
Someone just has to mutter the word drugs and a player’s name in the same sentence and that’s good enough for an investigation? There have been no failed drug tests here, mind you. Just that report.
As far as we can see, this particular investigation seems to be a lot more about the NFL flexing its muscles than anything else.