Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Reports are coming out that the Labor Department is investing the NFLPA for colluding with the NFL owners in secret over future labor discussions. The information came out of a retaliation suit by an NFLPA employee (incidentally the daughter of the scandal magnet, Rep. Jim Moran). According to the AP:
The NFL Players Association has confirmed it is the target of a federal investigation into whether union leaders attempted to collude with NFL officials by holding secret meetings to discuss labor talks. NFLPA official George Atallah said Tuesday the union has been cooperating with the Department of Labor probe, which came to light in a lawsuit filed against the union last week by NFLPA employee Mary Moran. Moran claims she was wrongfully removed from her job as director of human resources and placed on administrative leave with pay on Aug. 3 because of her role as a confidential informant in the investigation.
In court documents filed in District of Columbia Superior Court on Thursday, Moran said she provided investigators evidence that former NFLPA president Troy Vincent(notes) and other union members met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, allegedly to provide the league access to confidential union information.
She alleged that NFLPA executive committee member Mark Bruener(notes) and Texans player representative Kris Brown(notes) also attended the meetings, which she claims were not authorized by or reported to the union. She alleged the meetings were a bid by union members to gain influence with the NFL while providing “owners a toehold in the NFLPA.”
It's unclear what's really going on here. For instance, it seems odd that the union is being investigated--if the allegations are true, the owners and a rogue union official are the perpetrators and the union is the victim. We'll none doubt hear more later.
[Alex Long also points out that Pro Football Talk--which knows more about this than me--has confirmed that the headache is more the owners' than the union's.]