The National Football League has informed the NFL Players Association on Monday that the four players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in an Al Jazeera America report – Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison, Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, and former Packer (now free agent) Mike Neal – must be interviewed by Aug. 25 or face.
If any of the players are suspended – which would be separate from any future discipline imposed under the NFL’s drug policy – they will not receive a four-gamer nor a 10-gamer; commissioner Roger Goodell would make it an indefinite suspension and he would decide as to when they could be reinstated.
The NFL sent a letter to the players that alleges it has attempted to interview the players “at least seven times,” but that the NFLPA has responded by communicating the players’ refusal to cooperate.
Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, said he and his client have yet to be informed of the letter, but said the veteran linebacker would be open to the interview. In fact, the Steelers linebacker welcomes the interview at his home. “I don’t have a problem doing the interview. Come to my house. Bring Roger (Goodell) with you.”
Parise also claimed that the NFLPA told the four players not to agree to the meetings.
Al Jazeera’s report included accusations by Charles Sly, a former intern at an anti-aging clinic. The NFLPA has demanded the league provide “credible evidence” to interview the four players after Sly recanted his accusations.
Harrison, Matthews, and Peppers were expected to be interviewed on the first day of training camp, but no such meetings took place when camp opened at the end of July.
I ask you, what would be the reason to interview players who have not failed a drug test, but the league decided to investigate them anyway because they were “collateral damage” because the “big fish” (aka Peyton Manning) they were investigating came up clean. Is it because they have to come up with something to save face, or is it because Goodell is “smelling himself” after a long, drawn out victory against Tom Brady in the Deflategate debacle?
Whatever the reason is, Goodell need to slow down and reassess the situation, you have information from an unreliable intern that gave said info to a news network (Al Jazeera America) that was terminated on April 12, citing the “economic landscape”. Could this have been a last ditch effort to keep AJA afloat?
I’m proud of the NFLPA for telling the four players to stand their ground against these accusations. The ideal meeting I would like to see is Goodell meeting the players at Harrison’s residence; and since you’re coming , pick up Mr. Sly on your way so they can “kill two birds with one stone.”
Wouldn’t that be beautiful?