The NFLPA said Sunday it has received “very strong and credible” assurances that its members will not be penalized by the NFL for using a “cigarette meme” on social media.
The NFLPA, which represents 32 teams, has been vocal in its opposition to a bill introduced in California by state Sen. Ricardo Lara that would allow players to use an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, on the field in any game they participate in.
The legislation has gained bipartisan support in California, where more than 40 percent of the players have taken an e-cig in the last two years, according to the League.
It also is opposed by the American Lung Association and other players associations.
But the NFLPA on Sunday said that it had been assured that the league “will not be subject to the sanctions that may apply” under the proposed legislation, which would be subject in any case to review by the league’s medical and behavioral compliance committee.
The league, in its statement, called the bill “unlawful and will not withstand a fair and robust review.”
“The NFL is committed to protecting our players and our game,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.
“We are working with the league to implement these reforms.”NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that he had not seen any evidence that the use of e-cigarettes on the sideline is causing long-term harm.