It appears that the tension between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith is ramping up in a big way. Smith spoke with ESPN on Thursday and yelled at Goodell and the NFL as a whole for having a double standard when it comes to punishments. The case that Smith is bringing up in particular is Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has been charged with two misdemeanor offenses that happened in March. Smith wants justice to be served.
There is no doubt that something needs to happen to Irsay along with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. It doesn’t appear however those decisions are coming anytime soon from Goodell, who fired back saying that there are several players that the league hasn’t taken action on yet. The problem with all this bickering is the fact that all it does is cause unrest when an important meeting or time comes down the road.
The league and the players need to be on the same page with most issues. There are things that must happen to both Irsay and Rice. The key is whether or not both sides end up being happy with the results of those cases with Irsay being an owner and Rice a player. If Irsay’s punishment isn’t major compared to whatever Rice gets, there is going to be more problems and complaints from Smith. If it is the other way around, the owners aren’t going to be happy so it is a no-win situation.
Both of the decisions will come down sooner than later probably so opinions can be formed after that. Right now though, it isn’t looking too good for the relationship between Goodell and Smith. The next issue is going to be the expanded NFL playoffs that Goodell wants to go from 12 to 14 teams. If Smith wants to dig his heels in, that could be a serious issue when it’s time for a discussion between the league and the players about it. The preseason may need to be cut in half or some sort of other concession but both parties need to get on the same page with each other or the league as fans know it is going to begin to crumble.