It is What It Is  – In an interview with ESPN’€™s Ashley Fox, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent was critical of the NFLPA in their decisions to take cases to court when challenging rulings set by commissioner Roger Goodell. …

“Look at the amount of money being spent on legal fees for a handful of people,” said Vincent. “It’€™s millions and millions of dollars, and we’€™ve got players that are hurting. We’€™ve got young men who don’€™t know how to identify a good financial adviser. Men are in transition who aren’€™t doing well, and yet $8-10 million a year is spent in court fees about who should make a decision on someone, who in some cases has committed a crime.

“Think about that logically. Wouldn’€™t it be better to spend our time and resources on the issues that are vital to our players ‘€” past, present and future ‘€” such as the players’€™ total wellness and growing the game together?”

To review: Troy Vincent works for a league that gave $5 million to a character assassin named Ted Wells and hired him to take out a hit on the sports most recognizable and successful figure, a player with a 15-year spotless record of integrity on and off the field. For that $5 million, the NFL gets handed a 243-page document that if it were a high school research paper would get a D, with a note from the teacher that says, “You never proved your thesis!” And yet Vincent felt empowered to whack said player and his team – which the report itself found guilty of no wrongdoing – the harshest penalty ever handed down.

And now Vincent’s beef is that the Players Association chooses to fight back?

Seriously I keep rereading his comments and I wonder if you can cram any more wrongness into a half a dozen sentences. And I don’t think you could. He could have replaced that first crack about “a handful of people” with “I traveled back in time on a flying unicorn and helped Abe Lincoln win the Revolutionary War” and it wouldn’t be any wronger than what really came out of his actual mouth.

But such is the towering, pig-ignorant arrogance coming out of NFL management these days. Even after Mr. Kraft opted to take the dreaded high road in the name of partnership, fraternity and general nice-guyness, Vincent is out for nothing less than total surrender from Tom Brady and the NFLPA too. And this coming from a former member of the union, who rose and slept under the blanket of the very protection they provided for them. Now he questions the manner in which they provide it.

In “Wall Street” Martin Sheen’s character says the only difference between the people who built the pyramids and the ones who built the Empire State Building is unions. But I suppose when you’re the taskmaster working for Pharaoh Goodell, you don’t want his orders questioned. So you pretend you’re more concerned with worker safety and whether the Isrealites are spending their money on good financial advisers.

What Vincent said would be funny were it not for the fact that he had no problem running interference for a player who actually did commit a crime, whipping his toddler son with a switch until the kid’s scrotum bled. In light of that, they’re infuriating. But that’s what we’ve all come to expect from today’s NFL.

@JerryThornton1

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Jerry Thornton
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