The first paragraph of the Star-Tribune's story says it all:
Minnesota Vikings Kevin and Pat Williams may be forced to serve four-game suspensions even though the NFL is their employer and violated their rights under state labor laws, Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson ruled Thursday.
Yes. . .only when dealing with the National Football League can an entity be found to be in violation of an individual's rights, and yet all of the punishment goes to two individuals whose only "crime," such as it is, was trying to cut weight.
Larson even stated that the National Football League, led by NFL vice president for labor and law
Lionel Hutz Adolpho Birch, knowingly did the wrong thing as it pertains to StarCaps containing bumetanide, a banned diuretic.
Larson determined that NFL drug policy administrators knew of positive tests among players for Bumetanide in 2005 and 2006 and linked the substance to StarCaps. Larson found that Adolpho Birch, NFL vice president for law and labor policy, had been warned by NFL drug policy administrators that StarCaps contained a "secret" banned substance, Bumetanide.
But Birch made a "conscious decision" not to inform the federal Food and Drug Administration or any other agency. He also declined to disclose the presence of the substance to teams or players, Larson said.
Before 2007, players who tested positive for Bumetanide weren't disciplined. Birch, however, then directed drug administrators to start disciplining players who tested positive for Bumetanide even though he knew their use of it was inadvertent, Larson wrote.
"Birch was playing a game of gotcha," the judge said.
So, let it be known throughout the land. . .the NFL will control the flow of information. They control the horizontal, and they control the vertical. And if anything should happen to you as a result of the NFL's control of information flow. . .even up to and including something like a minor case of falling over dead, well screw you, because that's your own damn fault. The NFL doesn't give a damn about you as a player, unless they're still in the process of bleeding you dry.
What an absolute travesty this ruling is. . .the NFL was wrong, the judge freaking said that the NFL was wrong, and yet the only people that are being punished are Pat and Kevin Williams (and Will Smith of the Saints, and Charles Grant, who is currently unsigned).
This sets a fine precedent. . .maybe someday the NFL will get what they obviously want and have another NFL player end up like Korey Stringer because of their desire to play, as Judge Larson said, "gotcha" games with their players. That's obviously more important to Roger Goodell and company than player safety.
The Williams Wall will, obviously, appeal the case, and there will be a hearing at 2 PM to keep a restraining order in place that will allow Kevin and Pat Williams to play pending their appeals. We'll have more on that after it happens.
In conclusion. . .what a joke. What a freaking joke.