By choosing June 22 as the date for the hearing at which Commissioner Roger Goodell will testify, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform deliberately or accidentally scheduled the meeting one day after the deadline for the league’s petition for compulsory arbitration in Brian Flores’ lawsuit. However, as Congress prepares to question Goodell, the ink is still drying on the league’s efforts to push the entire case into a secret, rigged NFL kangaroo court.
The presiding judge set the schedule earlier this year. Documents supporting the application for arbitration must be submitted by June 21. According to Danel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com, this actually filed.
The threshold attempt to force Brian Flores, Ray Horton, and Steve Wilks to succumb to the NFL’s internal dispute resolution process comes from contracts the three named plaintiffs signed with the Dolphins, Titans, and Cardinals, respectively. League teams typically include broad “take or don’t take” language in coaching contracts requiring any claims to be referred to arbitration.
And while this is becoming more and more common in American businesses (mostly because they never want to be held accountable for their actions to independent judges and juries), most companies rely on a third-party arbitration service. The NFL’s obsession with micromanaging every aspect of its business includes forcing coaches and other team personnel to have a person hired and paid by team owners to resolve claims against those owners.
Justice? Justice? Of course, Jan.
It’s funny that the league does this. It’s funny that the league was allowed to do that. Let’s hope this is a case where the basic concepts of fairness will be applied to the NFL’s unfair attempts to twist the system in its favor.
Flores, of course, has complaints about other teams. Based on Kaplan’s article (we are in the process of obtaining raw court documents), it appears that the league has made the same argument that was dismissed last month by the Nevada court in the John Gruden case on the basis of the NFL Constitution. and the Charter.
The answer to the petition must be given one month from today. The NFL will then have the final written word. Eventually, a decision will be made. Inevitably (if the NFL doesn’t get what it wants) there will be appeals.