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SBD/Issue 175/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Former Players Upset At Upshaw For Threatening Comments
Published June 6, 2007
|Former Players Upset With Upshaw's
Comments Towards DeLamielleure
GOODELL SIDESTEPS ISSUE: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did not directly address Upshaw’s comments yesterday during a luncheon in Charlotte honoring Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, but he said, “I don’t think there is anybody that I know of that’s done more for the retired players, and players in general, than Gene Upshaw. ... We have a genuine interest in doing what’s respectful for the players” (THE DAILY). But in Baltimore, Ken Murray writes Goodell “clearly resented the latest firestorm in the league’s relationship with its former players.” NFLPA founding member Bernie Parrish, one of the players who filed the suit against the union, said he considers Upshaw a “dangerous man.” Parrish: “Running off at the mouth, threatening to break [DeLamielleure’s] neck, is an exposure of what he is like” (Baltimore SUN, 6/6). Panthers S Mike Minter said that Upshaw’s comments “were inappropriate” but he supports Upshaw’s leadership. Minter: “Even though (another) guy might be wrong and not looking at all the facts, you need to say what you say without threatening.” Minter added that Upshaw “should apologize” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/6). ESPN.com’s Mark Kreidler wrote the question of "whether Upshaw is still fit to run the NFLPA is ... absolutely the right one to ask.” Upshaw has become a “caricature of the serious-minded union chief he once was regarded as being” (ESPN.com, 6/5).