I can’t overstate the impact and importance of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). Even though I disagreed with the late Gene Upshaw on retired player benefits, there is no doubt that the NFLPA has been a vital and effective advocate for player rights.
As an example, the PA is justified in its opposition to the suspensions in regards to the StarCaps supplements. But there comes a time when the PA needs to draw the line on appealing suspensions.
Take the Plaxico Burress appeal. What is there to appeal? The dude shot himself. … Allegedly, he was illegally carrying a firearm. … This was all after the Giants gave him a hefty (and well-deserved) extension.
The Giants have been damaged by the irresponsible actions of Burress, and it could cost them in the playoffs.
Let’s get to the root of the problem. Players have a hard time adapting to the real world due, in large part, to living in a bubble. There have to be consequences for deviant behavior. By appealing the suspension, the PA is planting the seed in Plax’s mind (and possibly other players) that what he did was not that egregious.
I applauded the position of the PA to support the yearlong suspension of Adam “Pacman” Jones. This is another of those situations — Plax should be held accountable for his behavior. Therefore, I maintain that the PA has to be careful not to become an enabler of dysfunction.
— Jamie Dukes
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