NFL Personal Conduct Policy Is Filled with Hypocrisy; Just Ask Terrelle Pryor

Brendan O'HareContributor IAugust 29, 2011

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, PA - AUGUST 20:  Terrelle Pryor works out in front of NFL scouts during his pro day at a practice facility on August 20, 2011 in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, PA - AUGUST 20: Terrelle Pryor works out in front of NFL scouts during his pro day at a practice facility on August 20, 2011 in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Terrelle Pryor probably feels like he was played for an imbecile this weekend, when Kenny Britt and Aqib Talib were not suspended for their illicit, yet locked-out indiscretions.

In case you are unaware, Terrelle Pryor was recently suspended five games for breaking collegiate rules. Britt was not suspended for getting arrested about eleven times during the NFL lockout. Talib was not suspended for pistol-whipping and firing at his sister's boyfriend. This blatant disregard for equality and a penchant for Pharisaism is beginning to define the post-lockout Roger Goodell administration and is something the NFLPA should begin to notice.

The argument that favors the Talib/Britt torpor stems from the fact that a lockout, in legal terms, basically means that the employer is not allowing the employee to work. Therefore, Britt and Talib were basically free to do whatever they damn well pleased, as they technically were not employed by the NFL during the crimes since they were prohibited from working. Essentially, Britt could have shot Talib with a flamethrower, and a court would most likely find in favor of Britt if he was fired for that action.

In the midst of the Collective Bargaining Agreements, however, the NFLPA forfeited the rights of eight players to this immunity. Two of those players were Britt and Talib. Some people who lack the inability to read coherently (Hi, Mike Florio!) would say that any player suspended under these conditions should brutally sue the NFL. The problem is that the NFLPA was a part of the compromise and wouldn't back up a player who sued. What Florio and people of the same state of mind have right is the fact that the NFL shouldn't be able to suspend those eight in the first place.

The NFL and the Legion of Owners were the ones not allowing the players to come to work, therefore the players could wreck havoc upon civilized society and not be reprimanded for it. The NFLPA agreed to this, as they just wanted football to return to the hungry masses, and the Jerry Richardsons of the world were more concerned with expanding their already immense profits. Roger Goodell was the patsy in all this, having to placate to the owners' wishes and simultaneously becoming the face of all the hypocrisy the NFL Personal Conduct Policy stands for.

If the NFL had suspended Talib and Britt without the permission of the NFLPA, that still wouldn't have been as worse as what they are currently subjecting Terrelle Pryor to. In case you do not know, Pryor has been suspended for five games. Why? Because he broke NCAA rules while under the oppression of the NCAA in college. The NFL, due to the fact that the new CBA apparently gave Roger Goodell the power of God, is suspending a player for something he did when he wasn't employed by the NFL. If Pryor wanted to, he could sue Goodell's toupee off, as the suspension is a violation of most labor laws and common sense.

How are we allowing incidents like the Pryor one to go unchecked? It's because Roger Goodell has set such an unbelievably atrocious precedent in his Personal Conduct Policy that nothing comes as a surprise. Players get fined for wearing the wrong socks and for "hitting players too hard." Oh, and you better make sure your name isn't James Harrison, or else they will fine you double.

The Talib and Britt non-suspensions are a pleasant change of pace, but the NFL already violated their rights before that, when the CBA allowed for their possible suspension. The Terrelle Pryor suspension sets a horrible paradigm for the future. If he doesn't appeal (which he says he won't, and which makes sense from a rookie "I just want to ease in" perspective), the PCP (which is just as useful to the players as the acronym which also stands for a drug is to society) will further insinuate the god-making of Roger Goodell. The PCP is subliminally laced with hypocrisy, and that will be enforced to the fullest extent.