Thoughts on June 18, 2012, players’ hearing before Roger Goodell

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Ginsberg does not mince words in conclusion:

"“There’s just one, and just one, just result in this proceeding, and that is for you to rescind any punishment against Mr. Vilma and to apologize in public for what you have done.”"

Kessler then speaks on behalf of Smith, Hargrove and Fujita stating the NFLPA has,

"“reluctantly concluded that they will not participate in any proceedings regarding the merits at this hearing today. This was not an easy decision for them because they believe they have been wrongly accused with insufficient evidence; but, for a number of reasons, which I will now go through, which we would like on the record in formal motions, we don’t believe it’s appropriate to proceed with this hearing today.”"

Kessler goes on to state the discipline is based on a pay-for-performance (P4P) which falls within “exclusive jurisdiction of the System Arbitrator pursuant to Articles 14 and 15” of the CBA and a notice of appeal has been filed regarding Burbank’s decision to the contrary.

Kessler then states the NFLPA does not believe it is appropriate for the Commissioner,

"“to proceed with any discipline in light of that lack of jurisdiction.  It’s certainly not appropriate to proceed with this hearing while that appeal is pending, as we believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that the appeal’s panel will reverse the System Arbitrator’s decision on that matter.”"