Photo courtesy of CJ Alexander/Flickr

Ben Staker
Associate Sports Editor

A couple of weeks ago on Sept. 11, the NFL caught the attention of many when they filed a grievance against the NFLPA, also known as the NFL Players Association.

The official reasoning for the action, according to the Associated Press, is that the NFL believes the NFLPA and their president, J.C. Tretter, were telling running backs to fake and exaggerate injuries in order for them to gain leverage in contract negotiations.

This grievance comes at a time when many NFL running backs find themselves disgruntled with the current market for contracts at their position. Many of them feel the players in their position aren’t getting paid equal value to their work.

At the running back market’s current state, many of them struggle to receive another contract after their rookie one is up. NFL team owners, general managers, and coaches have caused the market to trend the way it is right now because they don’t value the position as much as they used to. They believe that the position is easily replaceable, so they don’t want to pay the players as much as they used to.

Since the initial reports of the grievance being filed, there have been no further updates. Whether the NFLPA told the running backs to fake or exaggerate injuries is still unknown.

In the time since the grievance was filed, the NFL has seen Cleveland Browns star running back Nick Chubb go down with a gruesome knee injury. The timing of Nick Chubb’s injury has drawn even more eyes to this story.

It seems difficult to prove that any player is trying to fake or exaggerate an injury when they know something could happen to them, like what happened to Nick Chubb. The idea that an injured player is able to gain leverage in contract negotiations seems wrong.

At the end of the day, the NFL is a business. If a player is injured and can’t play for their team, how can they have any leverage? No team wants to pay a player who is injured. If a player is injured and a team doesn’t want to bring the player back, it leaves them with very little leverage in their situation.

The NFL filing a grievance against their own players association sets a strange example for how they do business. If they can’t represent the people who make them money, then who will?