NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter Tuesday to NFL player reps informing them of a meeting with the league to discuss improvements to the current domestic violence and personal conduct policies, per Albert Breer.
The email reiterates the union's belief that implementing a fair and consistent process is the most important point of the bargaining sessions, and that the NFL should not be allowed to unilaterally make any changes to its policies.
The sides met for four hours Tuesday and agreed to meet again soon, signalling the continued involvement of the players in shaping these critical policies. No agreements or decisions were made at this meeting on Tuesday.
These discussion have become necessary in light of the NFL's suspect handling of several recent cases, including the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. The league plans to announce a new personal conduct policy prior to the Super Bowl.
Below is the full text of the email from Smith to the player reps:
Men: Today, the NFLPA met with the NFL to discuss the current issues of domestic violence and improvements to the personal conduct policy. Joining me in attendance from your union were President Eric Winston, Executive Committee Members Zak DeOssie and Jay Feely, general counsel Tom DePaso, associate general counsel Heather McPhee, senior director of player affairs and development Jason Belser and deputy managing director Teri Patterson. During the four-hour bargaining session, your union conveyed to the league that due process for players is not a luxury, it's a right. While the league currently has great concern for its brand, fairness and justice for our members is more important. For us, the starting point for these discussions must be the desire to agree upon a fair personal conduct policy and domestic violence rules from a standpoint of prevention and education. We will not accept a world where all players are viewed as perpetrators first and husbands, fathers, sons and brothers second. Through collective bargaining, we have achieved the best outcomes, and we need only to look at the most recent drug policy to understand why. There, we achieved independent arbitration, and both sides were able to implement desired changes to the policies. The NFL has agreed to meet again with us soon on all these issues. We will continue to keep you informed. Sincerely, DeMaurice Smith Executive Director, NFLPA