Union says NFL wants DUI pol­icy change

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

NEW YORK (AP) — The play­ers’ union says the NFL has asked for the right to im­me­di­ately sus­pend play­ers who are ar­rested for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs or al­co­hol.

NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tives told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Fri­day that the league’s pro­posal to in­crease penal­ties for DUI of­fenses in­cludes a pro­vi­sion to sus­pend or dis­ci­pline a player be­fore the com­ple­tion of his le­gal due process.

“They want to im­me­di­ately dis­ci­pline for an ar­rest,” said George Atal­lah, the NFLPA’s as­sis­tant ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ex­ter­nal af­fairs.

Such a pol­icy change would also go for coaches, own­ers and league staff.

“We pre­fer to dis­cuss th­ese is­sues di­rectly with the union,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Atal­lah also noted that progress has been made on pos­si­ble test­ing for HGH as well as other ar­eas of the drug pro­gram. The union his­tor­i­cally has not been in­ter­ested in fo­cus­ing on one is­sue, but on the en­tire drug pol­icy.

That would make er­ro­neous re­cent re­ports that the NFLPA was in hurry-up mode to ne­go­ti­ate changes that would help a spe­cific player, such as Wes Welker. The Den­ver re­ceiver was sus­pended Tues­day by the league for four games un­der the per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drug pol­icy.

“There is no ar­ti­fi­cial dead­line,” Atal­lah said. “A col­lec­tively bar­gained pol­icy we are ne­go­ti­at­ing is on be­half of all play­ers to ben­e­fit the most pos­si­ble num­ber of play­ers for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

AP Photo/este­ban Felix

In this photo taken Thurs­day, Sept. 4, 2014, Bil­lie Jean King poses for a photo inside the hos­pi­tal­ity pavil­ion at the U.S. Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in New York. King is so busy at­tend­ing events dur­ing the tour­na­ment, she hardly has time to watch matches at the venue that bears her name.

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