The NFL send a letter to the NFL Players Association Monday, informing them that if James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Mike Neal do not interview with the league by August 25, the players will be suspended.
The players were mentioned in Al Jazeera’s report where Charles Sly alleges that the players used performance-enhancing drugs.
Adam Schefter posted the entire letter from the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs Adolpho Birch on Facebook. Here was one important excerpt:
We cannot accept your unilateral assertion that the cursory, untested statements you have submitted satisfy the players’ obligation. Accordingly, the Commissioner has directed that Messrs. Harrison, Matthews, Neal and Peppers be given until Thursday, August 25 to provide interviews. For those players whose interviews do not take place on or before that date, or who fail meaningfully to participate in or otherwise obstruct the interview, their actions will constitute conduct detrimental and they will be suspended, separate and apart from any possible future determination that they violated the steroid policy. The suspension for each such player will begin on Friday, August 26 and will continue until he has fully participated in an interview with league investigators, after which the Commissioner will determine whether and when the suspension should be lifted.
To avoid this outcome, please promptly contact my office to make arrangements for the interviews. As previously stated, we will make every effort to accommodate the NFLPA’s availability, within the outlined time period.
James Harrison, Clay Matthews, and Julius Peppers were expected to be interviewed on the first day of training camp, but that never happened. Now, with 10 days until the deadline, it will be interesting to see what players speak up. All are key pieces on their respective teams, and surely don’t want to leave their fates in Roger Goodell’s hands.