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Volume 23 No. 28
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Dogra meets with NFLPA about inquiry

NFL agent and Relativity Football co-CEO Ben Dogra met with NFL Players Association staff members last week about an investigation that the union is conducting.

“They issued us an invitation to appear before the staff of the union to answer questions about certain matters they were interested in,” said Rusty Hardin, Dogra’s attorney. “We complied with that and met with them for several hours on Monday, and we fully cooperated and are continuing to fully cooperate.”

In addition to Hardin, Dogra was accompanied by Jeremy Monthy, a partner at Hardin’s firm, Houston-based Rusty Hardin & Associates, and by Arthur McAfee, an independent attorney who formerly worked at the NFLPA. McAfee was also one of eight candidates who ran unsuccessfully against NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith during Smith’s re-election bid in March.

Hardin said McAfee was hired as co-counsel for this matter because he is based in the Washington, D.C., area where the NFLPA is headquartered and is familiar with the union’s rules and procedures. “I am assuming the investigation continues and we will continue to cooperate,” Hardin said.

Hardin would not talk about the matters discussed and declined to comment further, noting that union investigations are confidential.

A union spokesman declined to comment.

The existence of the inquiry has been reported by several media outlets, including USA Today, which wrote that the NFLPA asked Dogra about a reported heated verbal altercation he had with Rob Brzezinski, Minnesota Vikings vice president of football operations.

CBS Sports reported that Dogra fought with Brzezinski over Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, a Dogra client, and that they had to be separated by former Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik at the NFL combine earlier this year.

But Hardin said last week there was not a fight. “It is a lie that has been pursued by competitors of Ben. It didn’t happen. He likes Rob Brzezinski, he considers him a friend and they never had any fight,” Hardin said. They did, however, kid around in a hotel lobby at the NFL combine and it was witnessed by several people, he said
Asked whether Dominik had to break up Dogra and Brzezinski, Hardin said, “That is such bullshit.”

Doug Hendrickson, an NFL agent who works with Dogra at Relativity Football, said he witnessed the incident. “It was a great comedy event,” Hendrickson said. “Both sides were kidding around and it ended up in a hug and ‘I love you, bro, call me tomorrow.’”

Brzezinski and Dominik did not return phone calls.