There has been a recent shift in how NFL players are allowed to play. One of the main causes of this shift are the recent restrictions of helmet to helmet hits. This has led to some NFL players to speak out: Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers recently stated that he would like to see the NFL shift from an autocracy to a republic much similar to that of our fine government. This could be a very sound move breaking up the power of the league into three branches: legislative,executive and judicial.
The legislative branch would be made up of former coaches, players, and league officials. The panel would be made up of no more than forty and no fewer than twenty with an even number coming from each division. Their power would be restricted to introducing, debating, and then voting on new rules for the league. A simple majority is needed to pass each new rule and once passed it moves on to the executive branch. The executive branch can veto any new rule: however, the legislative branch can override any veto via a 3/4 majority vote.
The executive branch is made up of a commissioner and enforces all laws that have been passed by the legislature and can also veto any laws that it deems unnecessary or detrimental to the league. The commissioner is elected through a voting process that spans the entire league (officials, owners, coaches, players, et al.) and is elected to a four year term. The commissioner can be reelected but is restricted to no more than two terms in office.
The judicial branch is made up of former players, coaches, and officials and is responsible for hearing appeals. The judicial branch can also overturn certain rules that it deems unnecessary but only if the rule(s) have been challenged by a current player or coach. The judicial branch is appointed by the commissioner and confirmed by the legislative branch. Once appointed to the court a justice's term lasts until either death or resignation.
Impeachment process: any commissioner, legislative official or justice can be impeached. The impeachment process requires a 3/4 vote in the legislature and the chief justice presides over the trial. If the chief justice is the one being impeached than the associate chief justice presides over the trial.
If the NFL were ran as a republic it would promote a healthy environment for coaches, players, and league officials to speak their mind about how the league is run. There would not be so much backlash from players, and coaches who are disgruntled with how the way things are handled under an autocratic regime.