NFL Players Association executive DeMaurice Smith criticises Roger Goodell

DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association, speaks during an NFLPA press conference prior to Super Bowl XLVIII on January 30, 2014
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NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith claims that there is disparity between the league's punishment of players and owners.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has claimed that the league does not apply the same disciplinary proceedings to owners as it does to players.

A number of figures within the game have criticised NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to punish Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay after he was arrested in March.

Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark labelled Goodell a hypocrite for the disparity between punishments meted out to players and owners, and Smith echoed those concerns.

"The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League," Smith told ESPN.

"What troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of the punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player. There isn't the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that's a problem."

Goodell has repeatedly outlined his intention to withhold punishment for Irsay until the conclusion of his legal issues.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013
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