NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (By Streeter Lecka, Getty Images Sport)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The NFL Players Association has filed papers in federal court pointing out that the NFL permitted a 1996 incentive program for big hits funded by former Green Bay defensive lineman Reggie White.
The union questions why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should now be able to suspend former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita for offering teammates rewards for big plays during the 2009 season.
The filing Thursday cites media reports about White's "smash-for-cash" program that paid $500 for big plays, including big hits. The reports include other teams discussing similar pools.
The NFLPA says Goodell's decision to suspend Fujita for behavior never before punished or prohibited by the NFL violates the league's labor agreement and demonstrates the commissioner's bias against players punished in the bounty probe of the Saints.
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