Roger Goodell has the Power to Stiff Arm Drunk NFL Players

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to discipline NFL players. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The latest topic of discussion around the NFL has to do with whether or not the National Football League should have stiffer penalties against players who are convicted of a DUI or Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. If you read Horse Tracks this morning, you might have noticed an article informing us that the Players Union (NFLPA) is against having more stringent consequences added to any player in violation. Walk a straight line with me and I will show you how the NFLPA doesn't have a leg to stand on with their argument.

Exhibit A: The Personal Conduct Policy

General policy

Engaging in violent and/or criminal activity is unacceptable and constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League. Such conduct alienates the fans on whom the success of the League depends and has negative and sometimes tragic consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.

Bingo! Driving Under the Influence connects with each point of this statement. It is a criminal offense. It can result in a violent crash and cause injury as well as death. It is detrimental to the integrity of the League. It also alienates the fanbase. Need proof?

Article 46 of the 2011-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement

Section 1. League Discipline: Notwithstanding anything stated in Article 43:
(a) All disputes involving a fine or suspension imposed upon a player for conduct on the playing field (other than as described in Subsection (b) below) or involving action taken against a player by the Commissioner for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football, will be processed exclusively as follows: the Commissioner will promptly send written notice of his action to the player, with a copy to the NFLPA. Within three (3) business days following such written notification, the player affected thereby, or the NFLPA with the player’s approval, may appeal in writing to the Commissioner.

Exhibit B: Precedent

According to an Independent Arbitrator, the NFL Commissioner has the authority to deal with any player who's conduct is detrimental to the integrity of the League.

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled Monday that Packers defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove can be disciplined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has suspended Hargrove for eight games for Hargrove's role in the Saints Bounty program.

I'd say that is precedent enough.

If Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline NFL players for "Bountygate," he has the authority to mete out punishment to any player who disgraces the integrity to the game by Driving Under the Influence.

The NFL Commissioner has the power to "Stiff Arm" even the NFLPA over this one.

Go Broncos!

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