Apparently there is a turn of events regarding the Michael Vick ruling as to where a federal judge ruled that the suspended and imprisoned Atlanta Falcons quarterback would be allowed to keep $16.5 million in bonus money; acccording to the Associated Press, the NFL is asking federal court to vacate the said judge’s ruling. The league also wants to end the jurisdiction of U.S. District Judge David Doty over labor matters.
To recap the ruling, Doty earlier ruled that the Falcons would violate the NFL collective bargaining agreement if they attempted to recover the roster bonus that Vick had already received. The league argues that Doty’s public comments prove that he is biased against them. In a statement, the league said, “Michael Vick breached his contract and cannot play because he was convicted of a felony and is sitting in jail. Despite those facts, the judge held that Vick is entitled to keep nearly $20 million in bonus money paid to him for playing football through the 2014 season.”
In addition, the NFL questioned whether Doty, who presided during the 1992 antitrust suit that led to the 1993 labor agreement after 6 years without a contract, should continue to oversee its dealings with the NFL Players Association. One last thing the statement mentioned was, “No other industry has its labor relations supervised by a federal judge in the way we do, and at this point, after 15 years of labor peace, it is hard to understand why such oversight is necessary or (why it is) an appropriate use of judicial resources.”
All I know is this: unless there was not a provision in Vick’s contract that did not mention anything about the forfeiture of bonuses due to “character concerns” – I forget what the actual legal name for it is – then perhaps Vick is entitled to said bonus money. Then there is the issue of the judge. If he in fact did make inflammatory remarks in public, that’ll help the league’s case. Another thing – Falcons owner Arthur Blank strikes me as a very intelligent man; a bit too trusting, but very intelligent, nonetheless. My hunch is that Blank put in Vick’s contract a clause mentioning something about a forfeiture of bonus money.