This one came totally out of left field. Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Pennel has sued the NFL and the player’s association.
Pennel filed the suit in federal court in Akron, Ohio, according to cleveland.com.
Why, pray tell, has Pennel decided to sue the league and his own union? You probably already know the answer.
It appears Pennel is looking at another suspension. He was already suspended for the first four games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He reportedly received a letter from the league on November 8 saying he faced further discipline. For what is not yet clear, although there’s good indication it’s again a substance abuse issue.
Pennel has appealed and his appeal is scheduled to be heard on December 6.
The lawsuit specifically addresses the substance abuse policy, hence the assumption that this is again the issue. Pennel contends that his appeal should be heard by three to five neutral arbitrators. The league is allegedly making only two available.
Pennel has asked that disciplinary action be put on hold until a third arbitrator is appointed.
That appears to be nothing more than a stall tactic. Pennel could be looking at a 10-game ban for being a repeat offender in the substance abuse program.
If he is indeed in that position, you have to wonder what purpose the Packers have in keeping him around. He obviously has an issue that’s going to keep him off the field on a regular basis.