Light: Players' appeal process needs to change

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Light: Players' appeal process needs to change

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- As he will do with every team, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will meet with the Patriots Thursday at Gillette Stadium to discuss the decertification process in the case of a potential lockout after this season.

And as expected, the players are looking forward to giving their unanimous consent.

"Anytime you have the leadership here and in place, they're here to deliver a message, and to let the guys know what they're thinking, and what we're all thinking, and what we need to be planning for, and what we need to do," said Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light. "So it should be very informative. That's their job, to inform guys of the upcoming battle and what to expect. I think a lot of these guys have been waiting for this for a while. So it's good they're here, and it will be a good meeting."

Light spoke prior to the meeting on Thursday and talked about some of the things that would be brought up. One of his biggest issues, right now, is the players' input, or lack thereof, on fines and suspensions for on-field actions.

"Fairness is a concern," said Light. "I mean, you've got to make sure that these things are fair, that they're measurable, that you can judge them, that it's not just one person's opinion. You have to be able to measure these things up against something else."

Light said the appeal process needs to be fixed, and that the players' union should have more say before the penalty is final.

"One of the biggest problems, the problem I've always had with the whole system, is that they take the money out before you actually have a chance to appeal, or go through an appeal process," said Light. "So that is something that we'll have to address. That's something that definitely needs to be tightened up, and we'll see how it goes from there.

"You can't take a guy's money before he's been found guilty, or had a chance to appeal a decision that's been made," he added. "If it was a drug policy, if a guy gets fined due to drug policy, that money's not removed until the final verdict's come down and that they've had a chance to appeal. It should be the same process with what happens on the field. It's just not, right now."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Kraft 'deeply disappointed' by Trump's comments; praises players

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Kraft 'deeply disappointed' by Trump's comments; praises players

Sunday morning, as President Donald Trump resumed his attack on the National Football League, Patriots president and CEO Robert Kraft issued a statement condemning Trump's call for NFL owners to "fire" players who protest against social injustice during the playing of the National Anthem.

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Said Kraft:

"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

Trump, meanwhile, was back on Twitter, renewing his demand for punishment -- or employment termination -- against such players:

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