In the NFL’s CBA the NFL outlines the impact of the Drug and Steroid policy can have on a player who violates the policy. The CBA explains that individual clubs are not allowed to impose any sanctions on the players who violate the policies. The NFL as an organization deals with the policy’s violators and it is their responsibility to handle the players, not the team. The NFL also has a stance where the team will not terminate player’s contracts over drug violations unless it is clearly specified in their contract that they are allowed to do so. This protects the player because the league is in charge of disciplining the players who violate the policy. This is good because it allows all the players to be held accountable to the same standard and helps the league maintain some sort of control on how these issues are handled. One team is not able to give their player a pass because they can’t afford to loose that player. The worst player and best player are treated the same under this policy by the NFL (theoretically). The NFL controlling the enforcement of this policy keeps everything equal because all the teams are held to the same accountability. The NFL does not discriminate in the CBA itself any distinction between different violations in the policy.
The NBA’s CBA outlines similar policies under their section on drug policies and discipline. Like the NFL, the NBA handles the drug testing and enforcement as opposed to the individual teams. This gives them the same level of accountability seen in the teams of the NFL. Unlike the NFL however, the NBA outlines different types of violations in the CBA itself. The NFL does not address different penalties in the CBA itself, but leaves it to a separate document. The NBA will suspend players for twenty games due to their first violation of their policy related to Performance enhancing drugs. After the second violation of this policy the player will be suspended for forty-five games. The third offense is grounds for termination. Another provision in this policy absent from the NFL’s CBA (but may be present in their policy) is the fact that the violation does not have to be discovered by the NBA specifically. Any kind of guilty plea or conviction outside of the NBA will have the same effect on the player. They also detail a policy dealing with marijuana. The first offense requires the player to submit to treatment, then there is a fine, followed by suspension.
Like the NFL, the MLB does not outline their drug policy explicitly in the CBA. Unlike the NFL, the MLB does not actually address the policy in this document, but leaves it for a separate one all together. From the information provided in the CBA however, it can be assumed that the MLB’s policy differs from the other two in that the club and the league share responsibility of enforcing the policy. Where the other two CBAs state that the league is the only entity that can regulate this, the section in the CBA that outlines the Uniform Player’s Contract does reference their program, and other sections explain their rehabilitation programs, but the policy itself is excluded. When referencing the Uniform Player’s Contract, it does provide lose rules for club terminating an employee’s contract which suggests that a team is able to terminate the contract if they feel the infraction was serious enough to warrant terminating the contract with the player. This is unsupported by the CBA, but it is implied by the language of the CBA in other sections. The drug program is mentioned but never explained. This is interesting since there are sections devoted to each in the CBAs of the other major organizations. This seems like something that absolutely should be an outlined in an agreement between the players and management as performance enhancing drugs are a major issue in baseball specifically. The MLB does have a policy and all the players are held to that standard so its exclusion from the CBA is odd to say the least.