The column from NFL Players Association president JC Tretter attacking the fine system to which the NFLPA has agreed includes a little news that was previously not reported.
Tretter disclosed that an unnamed player was fined $50,000 this season for faking an injury.
“The injury that the player was accused of faking was a concussion,” Tretter writes. “The team’s medical staff told him to go down on the field. He came out of the game for a concussion evaluation, which was required by our jointly appointed UNC and AT Spotter because of the blow to the player’s head. He was evaluated for a concussion and missed the following two series. Despite the emphasis on players’ self-reporting this most serious of injuries, the NFL determined in their review process that a $50,000 fine was warranted. After his appeal, this fine was . . . rescinded in full.
“In our view, this sets a very dangerous precedent. If on one hand, the onus is put on players to self-report injuries for their own safety, how can it be that they get penalized for following the reporting protocol to get their injury reviewed? ”
In fairness to the league, the precedent was not set because the appeal was successful. Hopefully, the NFL will learn from that.
And, frankly, it’s amazing the player and/or his agent didn’t leak the fine to the media. That’s what Saints defensive end Cam Jordan did last year, when he was fined $50,000 for faking an injury. He complained loudly, and he eventually won the appeal.
Given Jordan’s successful appeal, maybe the NFL hadn’t learned its lesson. Still, the more the league is called out for such heavy-handed tactics that miss the mark, the sooner Big Shield will back off.
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