Goodell Responds to NFLPA Concerns over Irsay Punishment Delay

NFL Holds Annual Meetings Amid Lockout

The NFL and its disciplinary system always seems to be an interesting topic. When a player does something negative, there is almost always a swift reaction and punishment handed down by the league office.

Which is exactly why the NFLPA is irked that Colts owner Jim Irsay still hasn’t received any type of disciplinary action from the league, more than two months after an arrest for DWI as well as drug possession.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was highly critical of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s delay on reacting to the Irsay arrest and charges.

“The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League now,” Smith said. “I think what troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player, there isn’t the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that’s a problem.”

While Smith failed to mention that the league still hasn’t dealt with Ray Rice and his Street Fighter uppercut to his then-fiancee and now wife a few months ago, he does raise a good point.

Today, Goodell responded to Smith’s statements.

“The personal conduct policy applies to commissioners, owners, players, coaches,” Goodell told reporters at the New England Patriots’ team facility. “It applies to all of us. We all have a responsibility to do things the right way. There are several players that we haven’t taken any action on, either.

“We like to get the facts, we like to be thorough and we like to understand them. Charges were just filed last week. I don’t believe there’s a credibility gap.”

You can’t really blame the league for wanting to get all of the facts in such a delicate situation, but you also can’t blame the players for the collective eye roll that surely followed Goodell’s statement.

With increasing pressure from the NFLPA, a decision on Irsay is likely to come sooner rather than later.