Baseball Labor Relations Are Stable Three Years After A-Rod’s Suspension; NFL’s Remain Chaotic – Forbes

Three years ago this week, Major League Baseball’s labor relations faced a crossroads.   Neutral arbitrator Frederic Horowitz had just upheld the one-year suspension of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for violating the league’s joint drug agreement.  Alex Rodriguez, in turn, decided to challenge his suspension in court — suing both Major League Baseball and his own union.

Some legal analysts had expected that the Major League Baseball Players Association would have, thereafter, removed Horowitz from his role as neutral arbitrator.  This, in turn, this could have led to a ping-pong ball effect of owners and management continuously removing their chosen arbitrator whenever a negative ruling was rendered — a result that could have further deteriorated labor relations.

Nevertheless, that did not happen.

To the contrary, since Frederic Horowitz’s A-Rod ruling, Major League Baseball labor relations have actually improved.

Not only is Frederic Horowitz is still Baseball’s neutral arbitrator, but the league and players have even recently agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement without any serious threat of a work stoppage.

Yankess third baseman Alex Rodriguez retired from Baseball this past offseason (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

One can contrast the recent, colossal improvement in Baseball’s labor relations with labor relations in the NFL, where their remains a debacle over player discipline and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s purported overreaching of his authority.

On Friday, the National Football League and NFL Players Association found themselves defendants in a lawsuit very similar to the one A-Rod filed three years ago, when Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson sued both the NFL and the NFL Players Association in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for purportedly improperly allowing Johnson’s ten game suspension for alleged performance enhancing drug use to take effect.


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