SBD/February 3, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

De Smith Talks About Relationship With Goodell, Asks For Transparency

Smith said not two days go by when he doesn't communicate with Roger Goodell
NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith admitted the "rhetoric has been high" between the union and the NFL, but there also "isn't two days" that go by without communication between himself and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith said of reaching a new CBA with the league, "We've got a lot of work to do, but we're going to do it. Look, we have to get this done. There's not a fan in America, there's not a player in America that can point to anything that justifies a lockout. Nothing. If there is something, if there are allusions to the dot-com crash and the housing market crash, then it seems to me if that's where they are then there is, frankly, even more of a justification and an obligation for financial transparency than when we started" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 2/2). In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw wrote, "Please don't put the looming 'work stoppage' on players. They want to maintain status quo. It's the far wealthier set of owners that seeks to change the system." The owners "still regret the day in 2006 they changed the rules on 'designated revenues' and took, essentially, a $1 billion settlement from the players to let them in on all revenues" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/2). However, in K.C., Sam Mellinger writes, "Maybe the players can win on safety, or a rookie wage scale or better long-term health care. Maybe it’s enough that Smith and other union leaders can stand in front of reporters and cameras and put on a strong face. But nobody -- not even some players, when they speak honestly and privately -- expects this to be anything other than a rout for the owners" (K.C. STAR, 2/3).

TAKING ANOTHER SHOT: YAHOO SPORTS' Doug Farrar reported the NFLPA has "put together a follow-up ad," titled "Let It Air," to the "Let Us Play" spot that CBS refused to air this Saturday. NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir for External Affairs George Atallah said that he intended to "submit the new ad to CBS" yesterday, "effectively asking CBS to air an ad asking them to air an ad that they won't air." The NFLPA attempted to air the "Let Us Play" commercial during CBS College Sports' coverage of the union's college All-Star Game on Saturday. Atallah said, "We are the official sponsors of this game. ... The same people who put on the Texas vs. the Nation game came to us and said, ‘Hey -- we want the Texas vs. the Nation game to turn into the NFLPA College All-Star Game. So, our original contract was with the organizers and promoters of that game. Those organizers and promoters went to CBS College Sports and asked, ‘Do you want to air this game under certain conditions?', and they agreed. One of those conditions was that we would get two minutes of airtime during the game." Atallah added, "There were no content restrictions, barring anything offensive or explicit. ... CBS has said that they claimed to have denied the ad last October, but we didn't even submit the ad until January" (, 2/2).
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