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NFL Lockout: NFL Will Enforce Conduct Penalties for Behavior During Lockout

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The NFL may have locked-out the players from their job, but they are still holding them accountable to all policies regarding their off the field behavior. Any player accumulating any misdeed(s) during the lockout will be subject to the penalties by the NFL.

I don't think employees should be subjected to the rules of their employers if their employers have told them they can't come to work. At that point, I believe the employer has taken away their right to govern their employees in any way.

Like most things involving labor issues there are two sides to this. The National Football Post sought the view of two legal experts on the subject:

"They’ve frozen the employment of NFL players," said Michael McCann, director of the Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School McCann said. "So … the players will likely say, ‘If we’re not getting paid, then we’re not obligated to follow our contracts. You’re preventing us from obtaining our employment benefits, so why should we have to satisfy our employment obligations?’ That’s what employment is — a series of benefits and obligations."

And Gary Roberts, the dean of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, disagrees.

"The lockout does not render the code of conduct ineffective," Roberts said. "The players (those under contract) are still employees and thus subject to league rules and policies. Conduct occurring during the lockout can still violate the policy. What penalties might be enforceable during the lockout might be an interesting question, but once the lockout ends they could easily be enforced then."

The Raiders have a few players who have run afoul of the law lately, but I am not sure any of them would be looking at anything, but a warning from the league.

Free agents Michael Bush and Mario Henderson could possibly face suspension, but given the fact that it was their first offense they will probably avoid suspensions.

Bush was arrested for a DUI. Mario Henderson was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm. And, truth be told, a suspension would probably benefit the Raiders as it would drive down his price in free agency.

Louis Murphy was playing his music too loud and carrying Viagra without a suspension. Since this is one performance enhancer not banned by the league, the only punishment Murphy is looking at is being the butt of jokes of other players.

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