NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith Says Roger Goodell Lied About Changes to Conduct Policy

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30:  DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association, speaks during an NFLPA press conference prior to Super Bowl XLVIII on January 30, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says Commissioner Roger Goodell "lied" about consulting the players union about changes made to the league's personal conduct policy in 2014. 

In an upcoming episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel scheduled to air Tuesday, Smith asserted that Goodell didn't try to gather input from the union before sending the revised policy to owners for a vote. 

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Gumbel proposed the following question to Smith: "When Roger Goodell can stand up there as he did and say, 'We're drafting a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We're gonna do so in conjunction with the union,' and then doesn’t consult the union, comes up with a new policy, that says what?"

"That says he lied," Smith replied. 

The NFL issued a statement to HBO, reportedly relayed in the segment, that asserts it sought cooperation from the players union when it was drafting new rules.

"We repeatedly tried to engage the union but they had no interest in developing a tough and enhanced personal conduct policy," spokesman Brian McCarthy said, per Florio. 

After owners unanimously passed the policy in 2014, the NFL issued a release that said it had "an extensive series of meetings and discussions" about changes and listed the NFLPA as one of the groups it consulted. 

Changes to the guidelines included the implementation of independent investigative procedures, a more thorough list of prohibited conduct and a baseline suspension of six games for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse violations.