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NFL, NFLPA at odds over union’s power to fire the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant

Nyheim Hines’ concussion against the Broncos leads Mike Florio and Peter King to discuss the disagreement between the NFL and NFLPA on how the Tua Tagovailoa situation was handled.

The NFL and NFL Players Association essentially agreed to disagree on the question of whether the concussion protocol was followed as to Tua Tagovailoa on September 25. The league and the union flat-out disagree as to their respective powers when it comes to the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant.

The NFLPA fired the UNC involved in Tua’s case. The league strongly disagrees with that outcome. The league acknowledged during a Saturday conference call regarding the changes to the protocol that conversations are occurring as to the union’s power to unilaterally fire the UNC. As the union interprets it, per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL wants to remove the NFLPA’s power to fire the UNC.

During Saturday’s call, the league declined to elaborate on the union’s decision to fire the UNC, deferring to the NFLPA. According to a source with knowledge of the communications, the NFLPA informed the NFL that the union was exercising its right to fire the UNC involved in Tua’s case because the UNC: (1) failed to understand the protocols and his role as UNC; (2) demonstrated hostility, unprofessional, and indignation toward the union’s right to conduct an investigation; and (3) does not represent the best interests of the health and safety of the players.

In a nutshell, the union believed that the UNC believed he answered only to the league, not to the union.

Any changes to the current protocol would have to be negotiated by labor and management. Whether those changes are made remains to be seen.