SBD/Issue 56/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Union Plans To Appeal Giants' Punishment Of Plaxico Burress

NFLPA Planning To File Grievance
Over Giants' Punishment Of Burress
The NFLPA is planning "to appeal the Giants' decision to punish" WR Plaxico Burress, which "could be the first step toward helping the troubled receiver recover some of his lost money," according to Ralph Vacchiano of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. An NFLPA spokesperson said that the union "intends to file a grievance that will claim the Giants somehow violated" the league's CBA Tuesday when they suspended Burress for "four games without pay, fined him an undisclosed amount and ended his season by placing him" on the team's non-football injury list. The move cam after Burress was charged with two counts of felony gun possession after accidentally shooting himself Saturday morning. An NFL source indicated that Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has "already been in contact with union officials about finding a way to lessen" Burress' financial hit (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/4). On Long Island, Tom Rock notes it is "not clear which rights the union plans on contesting" (NEWSDAY, 12/4).

DISPUTED CALL: In N.Y., Katie Thomas notes the Burress incident has placed NFL Security, the league's "low-profile investigative unit, in the unusual position of clashing with the local police." N.Y. Police Department (NYPD) officials and N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this week criticized NFL investigators, as well as the Giants, for "not promptly reporting the shooting to the authorities." But NFL VP/Security Milt Ahlerich yesterday "disputed the police account of events and said his unit had cooperated fully with law enforcement." Ahlerich: "We spoke to very senior levels in the NYPD and said we have this situation that we believe to be true with Plaxico Burress -- by name -- that ... happened in a nightclub of some sort, and he is in a hospital in New York with a gunshot wound." Thomas notes while NFL Security, with a staff of just 13, "rarely makes headlines, the department has played a role in many of the NFL's most prominent news stories in recent years" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/4).

TIME STAMP: Giants officials yesterday admitted that they knew Burress "accidentally shot himself minutes after it happened -- but the team didn't report the incident to police for at least eight hours." The Giants also acknowledged for the first time that LB Antonio Pierce, who was with Burress on the night of the shooting, called Giants VP/Medical Services Ronnie Barnes "moments after his teammate's illegal gun accidentally went off." Giants officials have said that they notified NFL Security about the shooting, which happened at around 1:50am ET, "sometime after 10 a.m. and that the league told police." But Bloomberg has "contradicted that, saying the NYPD did not learn about the shooting until seeing TV reports" Saturday afternoon (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/4).

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