Alex Rodriguez suspension: MLBPA releases statement backing A-Rod

Patrick McDermott

MLB Players Association chief Michael Weiner released a statement following MLB's announcement of Alex Rodriguez's suspension backing the Yankees third baseman's decision to appeal the decision.

Weiner's statement:

"The accepted suspensions announced today are consistent with the punishments set forth in the Joint Drug Agreement, and were arrived at only after hours of intense negotiations between the bargaining parties, the players and their representatives.
For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously.

The Union's members have made it clear that they want a clean game. They support efforts to discipline players, and harshly, to help ensure an even playing field for all. The players support the Union's efforts to uphold the JDA while at the same time guaranteeing that players receive the due process rights and confidentiality protections granted under the agreement.

Lastly, I want to close by stating our profound disappointment in the way individuals granted access to private and privileged information felt compelled to share that information publicly. The manner in which confidential information was so freely exchanged is not only a threat to the success and credibility of our jointly administered program; it calls into question the level of trust required to administer such a program. It is our view that when the bargaining parties hold their annual review of the program, we must revisit the JDA's confidentiality provisions and consider implementing stricter rules for any breach by any individual involved in the process."

The last paragraph condemns the public nature of the entire process, understandably. Having the entire process play out in the media for months has done neither side any good. The Players Union was never going to speak out against one of their members, so this is really not far from what is expected. Players have the right to their appeal and the MLBPA is going to ensure that A-Rod gets a fair shake at his since it is the path he has chosen rather than settlement.

Do you agree with the MLBPA's decision to publicly back Rodriguez and condemn the Commissioner's actions?

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