Owners To Revisit How NFL Conducts Investigations?

In the wake of the Kareem Hunt incident, some NFL owners want to reconsider how the league handles its investigations into criminal allegations made against players, The Washington Post’s Mark Maske writes

Sources tell Maske those owners would like to revise the league’s investigative methods with the possibility of considering if it should be conducting those investigations in the first place. Though some are interested in rehashing the process, it is not expected to be a large contingent and there is not believed to be a specific agenda item on the issue at the upcoming owners’ meeting in Dallas on Wednesday.

“It’s certainly an issue that needs discussion,” said one of those people with knowledge of those owners’ views, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “Is there a way to do this better? If not, should the NFL even be in the investigative business?”

The NFL faced heavy scrutiny after security footage from a February 2018 incident at a Cleveland hotel surfaced last week of Hunt shoving a woman to the ground and kicking her. In its original investigation, the league was unable to obtain the footage to review and did not question the running back about the incident. Hunt was not punished when the incident first came to light, but after the release of the video he was placed on the Commissioners’ Exempt List and was released immediately by the Chiefs.

Maske notes the hurdles the NFL faces in conducting these independent investigations since it does not have subpoena power.

Among the leaders of the charge by the owners could be Jerry Jones, who was openly dissatisfied with the way the league handled investigation into star Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in 2017 that resulted in a six-game suspension and a drawn-out appeals process.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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22 comments on “Owners To Revisit How NFL Conducts Investigations?

  1. ziggy13

    I get the whole not having power to subpoena thing, but if owners think going back to turning a blind eye barring prosecution is the proper way to deal with things they’re going to be in for a nasty surprise

    • bradthebluefish

      That is how the NFL should deal with things. The NFL is not a legal system and to think it can operate like one is foolish.

      • Rondon

        No. This is the excuse they can use to just not deal with it at all. They want it that way so that owners like Jones don’t have to be inconvenienced by any personal responsibilty.

        But hell, as long as TV continues to give them the huge contracts and people will still pay big money for tix, it really comes back on us…

        • redbeard87

          The NFL is not a court system. The legal system should handle these things, not a private organization. I think you’re just upset that courts of law require evidence and facts, you can’t just lynch the black guy because you don’t like him

  2. bencole

    Really good idea. Get rid of the personal conduct policy entirely did let the legal system handle it.

    • tsolid

      Poor Guy! Guys like that claim they don’t watch, but post on football sites are still biggest watchers of the NFL. Sorry to say, but the NFL isn’t going anywhere

  3. goldenmisfit

    The entire NFL personal conduct policy is a joke. How many times have we seen the NFL impose their own penalties for someone who was found not guilty in the eyes of law-enforcement. Now we have reports NFL was trying to sweep this under the rug even though it was video evidence but when it came to Elliott they went after him with both guns blazing without any physical proof. I am sick of seeing people getting suspended by the NFL but the justice system has clearly said they did nothing wrong. Also, seems to me in the eyes of the NFL it is all based on the logo on the side of your helmet and not the act.

    • redbeard87

      Exactly. Private organizations should not be handing down extra-judicial punishments, especially when they don’t respect due process rights or offer a fair trial

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Roger Goodell wants all the owners to blindly follow his leadership (insert giggles here) like sheep. No conducting business to protect your own interests and certainly no investigations, since that would expose the glaring incompetence of Goodell and his staff. Just drink the kool-aid and pretend that you aren’t being a party to collusion.

    • redbeard87

      Only ignorant uneducated people still believe in the Kaep collusion nonsense.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Owners have colluded to various degrees on a variety of issues since the league started in 1920. The often farcical lengths this went to during the AFL-NFL wars of the late 60s has been well documented.

  5. Al_Vengenace

    There most definitely should be some changes made. If the NFL wants to project a clean, family friendly image and have their players viewed as role models then you have to practice what you preach. The NFL should not be handling investigations into legal matters like this. If you’ve been following the Ruben Foster fiasco there are reports that the Niners people were heavily involved in the process of getting his first allegations swept away.

    I am not sure what the answers are. If you want to discourage this type of behavior from your players you have to take some hard stances. If you are under legal investigation you should be placed on the exempt list while the matter is under investigation under the personal conduct clause. The NFL should not be investigating these issues. Once the player is cleared then they can play again.

    That would be the hard line stance. The counter point would be, “What if they are found innocent? They would have been suspended all that time and it wasn’t their fault.” I get that. But you really can’t have it both ways. Perhaps players should stop getting themselves into these type of situations to begin with. That is the whole point.

  6. redbeard87

    Private organizations should never have tried to act like law enforcers in the first place. NFL owners are not judges, and Goodell is not a district attorney. The only reason they started doing it in the first place is because racist, sexist PC lynch mobs couldn’t get innocent men convicted in court, so they try to get an extra-judicial sentence handed down by a private organization that doesn’t care about facts or evidence. See Ezekiel Elliot.

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