If you were to design and execute the worst possible domestic violence policy you could think of, it would likely look like how the NFL is handling the Ezekiel Elliott case. I’ve read all the public legal documents on this case. Hundreds of pages. It is difficult to convey how nauseated with anger and disgust I am with how the NFL has handled this matter. Most of the writing on about the Ezekiel Elliott case involves the legal issues. Or the sordid details. Understandable, as the NFL decided to make this news. Very little of it focuses on the real […]Continue Reading →
When people on Twitter ask my opinion about sensitive situations like the Ezekiel Elliott suspension and the NFL Domestic Violence Policy, I think sometimes it is better to write a blog post to share complex thoughts. I started writing about NFL discipline issues in 2006 after incoming NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made player behavior and punishment a greater focus of his position. (You can find much of my NFL discipline writing in the NFL tag). Fans would get angry at some of the decisions and wonder about issues of fairness and timing and bias. I generally have not been supportive […]Continue Reading →
In the past, I’ve led online groups encouraging each other to be more healthy. One of them made the New York Times. (I had gained a lot more pounds than my baby was, and those pounds did not want to vacate the premises as fast as I wanted them to leave. It’s a nice article but inaccurately called me a “former lawyer”). Over the years, I’ve been asked by some folks to write down some of my thoughts on health and fitness and inspired by the progress some of my friends have made, today I am doing a health and fitness pep […]Continue Reading →
Want to know more about Tom Brady and the NFLPA’s request for a Deflategate Second Circuit rehearing? You can find the Deflategate Brady En Banc Petition here if you wish to see what is said versus a summarized form. It also contains an appendix that has the Brady Second Circuit opinion. When I get a lot of questions on social media about a topic, it is best to put them in a blog post so I don’t have to repeat myself. Here are some of the repeated questions: What do you think of the Tom Brady – NFLPA’s petition? Well written, of […]Continue Reading →
I’ve been receiving a lot of immediate questions about the Deflategate Second Circuit argument in Tom Brady NFL discipline matter. Because I can’t discuss them all on Twitter and would like to collect them in one place, I will do a quick write up. As I was not at the argument, I hate to say anything too definitively based on just tweets about the questions and not even seeing a transcript. [Update: I’ve read more detailed descriptions of the argument from lawyers who were there (see this good court summary by Michael McCann at SI) , and I pretty much have the […]Continue Reading →
Sports Illustrated writer, Peter King in his MMQB column made the case that Roger Goodell should give the Patriots draft picks back but likely won’t. I agree with his conclusion. However, I think there is a much stronger case to be made of why the Patriots draft picks should be restored: No Evidence of Ball Tampering. No evidence exists that Tom Brady or anyone from the Patriots wanted balls deflated outside of the ranges dictated by the rules. None. Zero. Nothing in thousands of pages of documents or testimony or found anywhere in the known universe. In his hearing with Judge Berman, the […]Continue Reading →
The following is a re-typed version of a NFL discipline column I wrote about Roger Goodell for the now defunct sports blog, FanHouse. Originally, when AOL sold the name, we were told that the links would remain live. That turned out to be not true. While it was still live, I printed off quickly a few of my favorite pieces I wrote. This is one of them. I’ve re-typed the piece in its original form without the original links that explained extra context. [the text was too small for an accurate pdf conversion] Is Roger Goodell an ‘Unthinking Moralist’ (originally written by […]Continue Reading →
Blog posts can serve as time capsules, and this one focuses on the legal implications of the Judge Berman ruling. I’ve grouped together a collection of real time tweets from when the ruling was made and afterwards and have added additional commentary. Be sure to hit the read next page button at the bottom of the screen because the entire Storify does not show up on the blog posts. I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about Deflategate legal issues as they happen, and it is easiest to collect them in one place. If you haven’t already read them, please check out […]Continue Reading →
During the Texans Team Luncheon, Texans owner Bob McNair answered a variety of questions from Houston Sports Radio 610’s Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Of greater interest to national fans were the Bob McNair Deflategate comments. The comments aren’t surprising, except that he talked about the situation in more depth than most owners would. I do not think he was expecting those questions. In general, McNair tends to be open with his comments, often more open than what his coaches sometimes would prefer. This is likely one of those times given that the Texans play the Patriots this season. McNair’s Comments Perfectly […]Continue Reading →
This is a time capsule of Deflategate legal thoughts. The focus is on the August 14 NFL/NFLPA Memorandums in Opposition, the August 12th settlement hearing and related issues. I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about Deflategate legal issues as they happen, and it is easiest to collect them in one place. If you haven’t already read them, please check out my FAQ recaps on earlier events on my blog. If you scroll down a bit, you can find blog posts about other NFL disciplinary issues as well. Warning; These posts may cause feelings of severe deja vu. (Please note: In order for the […]Continue Reading →
On August 7, 2015, the NFL and NFLPA offered their Deflategate filings– motions and memorandum of law to federal court Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York. Previously, I collected a legal snapshot of views after the Deflategate transcript that was released. By request, I’ve collected various legal snapshot of views for the Deflategate filings below, specifically the NFL and NFLPA Memorandum of Law. Also added some additional comments. It makes it easier to read and further discuss the contents by putting these things in one place. It also serves as a time capsule. [View the story “Deflategate NFL […]Continue Reading →
On August 4, 2015, the Deflategate transcript of Tom Brady’s arbitration hearing in front of NFL commisioner Roger Goodell was released widely on the internet. Many people crowd-sourced discussed this as it happened. Much to the unhappiness of some my Twitter followers, and happiness of others, I live-tweeted my thoughts as I read it. So that they were not completely lost to the universe, I created a Storify to collect them and other attorney’s views I thought made sense and were useful to know. So, this is easier to read version of that night, for people who have better things to […]Continue Reading →
This is a law-focused discussion of Deflategate legal FAQs based on recent questions I’ve received about a possible settlement between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL. I will also discuss my proposed parameters for a NFL – Brady settlement based on stakeholder interests. I think the best result for all is a no suspension, with or without a fine. If you want to see my reasoning for that, please skip near the bottom of this post. Please read my previous post first, Answering Your Deflategate Legal Questions. It was written July 30, 2015 before Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York […]Continue Reading →
Here’s a law-focused Q&A based on the Deflategate legal questions I get from journalists and on Twitter (@StephStradley). (Update: This was written July 30, 2015. There is a follow up post that is more focused on Tom Brady – NFL settlement issues.) Why do you know about this stuff? I have written about the Texans and the NFL since 2006. I’ve been a lawyer most of my adult life, clerking for large law firms, working in-house for large corporations and then on my own. After Roger Goodell became commissioner, there was a greater reader demand for informed discussions about player discipline issues, […]Continue Reading →
You likely know people who tend to beat themselves up a lot. Maybe that’s you. Think everyone does it to some degree, but it’s destructive when it becomes a habit not even noticed. And what I want to say is this: Self-respect is being kind to yourself and your future self. Being kind to yourself, in that the things you say to yourself should never be harsher than what a good and kind and true friend would say. And kind friends forgive after people make inevitable mistakes. Being kind to your future self, in that the things you do now, should help […]Continue Reading →
Understatement to say that the NFL and its teams are struggling to fashion appropriate discipline for allegations of NFL player misconduct. As I’ve written before, these problems were completely foreseeable when sports leagues take a bigger role in extra-judicial punishments. And sell to the public that it is appropriate for them to do so. Everybody has an opinion on this, and I will share mine. I have a unique perspective as I’ve worked for large companies as an in-house lawyer, dealing with crisis management and employment law among other issues. In addition, I’ve worked with my husband who is a former assistant district attorney and […]Continue Reading →
From 2006 to 2011, I wrote for a now-defunct sports blog called, FanHouse. When I first started writing about NFL for them, I didn’t mention that I was a lawyer. It didn’t seem relevant. But then I told them after Roger Goodell’s new personal conduct policy put player criminal justice issues into the spotlight. I ended up writing about a lot of sports and legal issues. The following is what I wrote on July 1, 2009. It no longer exists as a link because AOL killed FanHouse, but I found it in the Wayback Machine. I am reprinting it here […]Continue Reading →
The word “provocative” has often been used in articles describing the tactics of Open Carry Texas. A Google search of “Open Carry + provocative” leads to about 15,000 results. For those unfamiliar with them, “Open Carry Texas” is the organization which seeks: 1. to promote awareness that the open carry of long rifles is legal in Texas; 2. to make people feel more comfortable with the safe and legal exercise of that right; 3. to change state law to make less restrictive open carry laws. They promote their cause by openly carrying rifles at rallies in public places. According to the Houston Press, “Open Carry Texas Says it […]Continue Reading →
A lot of times when people ask me about unjust legal results, they ask, “Isn’t that unconstitutional?” Or, “How can that be fair?” If the answer was just answering a law school exam, I’d write out the pros and cons of the constitutionality of a law. As for fairness, the law like life is often not fair. The least fair part of the legal system involves the expense of defending your rights. If you think you have a right but don’t have money to defend that right, well then, you have nothing. You may think have a legal right to do something, but […]Continue Reading →
FEAST! The best eating I’ve ever done was at a party where everybody was supposed to bring the best thing they cook. You know, the food that everybody begs you for the recipe. So everybody brought the food that they were famous for and feasted. (When we buy a bunch of food and cook it all day and call our buds to come over last second, we call it “FEAST.”) Blog posts as index cards. One thing you can do with blog posts is to create a repository of things. Like a place to share recipes. Blog posts can also be a spot to do […]Continue Reading →
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