Ask The Commish: My Commissioner Had No Reason to Nix My Trade!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

I offered a trade giving up D’Andre Swift for Stefon Diggs. The trade was accepted, but our commissioner reversed it. His reason? It wasn’t an equal trade, and it wasn’t a trade they would make. There are no vetoes in our league. I’m pissed - I have RB depth and I lost Kupp. We play each other this week, and I’m in second place behind them, and I think it’s personal. I have the back of most in the league, and I’m trying to get the commissioner to allow it, but what else am I supposed to do? I feel like tanking in protest, but I think that’s a loser move too. This is a money league.


They have no business involving themselves in your trade. He’s absolutely, positively wrong, and he should not have reversed it. He’s not the first commissioner I’ve heard about, read about, and (believe it or not) heard from, who has allegedly reversed a trade because it’s one that they “wouldn’t do.” It’s a horrible reason. I also bristle at the idea of someone determining whether a trade is “equal” or not - when the trade doesn’t involve them. That’s none of his business.


The good thing about your league is that you don’t have league vetoes. I’m not going to get into a long discussion about why that’s a bad idea in this response. One might think a league that doesn’t allow trade vetoes by league members would be on the right track. However, the bad thing about your league is that evidently, it has a commissioner like yours. This commissioner probably shouldn’t be running a league.


So, what are you supposed to do? You could tank, but since you asked me for my opinion, I don’t think that’s something you should do. As an alternative, you could leave in protest. The problem with that, is you won’t get to finish the season, Obviously, you want to pay fantasy football. That’s the drawback if you make that choice. However, walking away would be better than sticking around and wasting a lot of time and energy just to tank in protest all on your own. Such a move would also affect the rest of the league who weren’t involved with what happened to you. You got my attention, however, when you said you have support from most of the league. Let’s try and use this to your advantage. See if they will support you in a mutiny of sorts. If all of you can agree to act collectively in solidarity, you might be able to force your commissioner’s hand.


Make a plan to text or email your commissioner with a request to once again allow the trade. Make sure your request is endorsed by all of the league members who support you, by including their names along with your communication. However, make sure you already know what you’re going to do if the commissioner still won’t allow the trade. Have a plan of action ready to go.


Choices, choices …


You and the crew could first ask him to step down. Make sure you’ve already decided who will run the league if he does. If you can’t come up with a replacement or if he says no, then you’re going to have to get more aggressive.


For example, if your supporters are willing to add their name to your grievance, see if they’re also willing to threaten devaluing their starting rosters in protest. This means they would either start injured players, or they would leave slots open with no player. Of course, this would mess us the scores and you’d have a wasted weekend of games, but that’s the point. That’s the threat you’re making.


Maybe you all can threaten to leave the league all together if he doesn’t allow the trade by Saturday. I know it’s definitely hard to walk away from your money, so I would do this only as a last resort. One thing is for certain, if you choose this option, you’ll find out how ardent your league members are in their support for you real quickly.


I have been asked a couple of times about people suing their league commissioner, but most people aren’t equipped or has the means to go that far. In your case, I’d imagine that you’d only be doing that if you left the league and wanted to recover your pool money if it’s substantial enough.


These are just a few ideas. If you and your league mates actually get together and discuss the matter, you may come to agree on a better option. Whatever you come up with, how your commissioner responds to multiple managers threatening to sabotage the league in protest, will tell you all you need to know. If they balk, then maybe it’s time for you all to leave him with a league with a few, or no players at all. Basically, they won’t have a league. In other words, they’ll get the league they deserve. You have to be willing to lose your money though, unless you’re in a league that has a treasurer and one of your allies serves in that role.


These are all things none of you should have to do. However, at the end of the day, if he refuses, there’s really nothing you can do unless you’re able to get help from your other league mates. I wish there was a way to force them, because obviously, I’m not going to suggest using violent means as an option, but there isn’t. Hopefully, you and your allies can embarrass him and cause him to step down, or at least get him to allow the trade. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get both scenarios to go your way.




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