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SBD/March 18, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Lockout Watch, Day 7: Goodell Details Latest CBA Offer In Letter To Players
Published March 18, 2011
PLAYERS RESPOND: In N.Y., Judy Battista noted the letter is Goodell's "first direct communication with rank-and-file players since talks toward a new agreement broke off, the union decertified and the owners locked players out last Friday." Seahawks OT and player rep Chester Pitts said, "I told all my guys to set this letter on fire. We're not that stupid" (NYTIMES.com, 3/17). Titans LB Will Witherspoon in a text message said it was "very distasteful" for Goodell to send out the letter. Witherspoon: "If we were in court, I would compare to a lawyer trying to lead a witness. I duly object to the fact he has highlighted his highpoints but not given them any ground to stand on!" (AP, 3/17). Patriots CB Leigh Bodden tweeted, “Who gave Goodell my email address??” (TWITTER.com, 3/17).
HAVING HIS SAY: In N.Y., Bart Hubbuch notes the letter "came to light just hours after" NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "appeared to strike a promising note in the dispute in an interview with" WFAN-AM. Smith "revealed the players still are open to an 18-game regular season, and indicated his group is open to further negotiations" (N.Y. POST, 3/18). Smith on WFAN said that "'there's no reason' the league and the players can't talk or negotiate before the April 6 court hearing on the lockout injunction" (PROFOOTBALLWEEKLY.com, 3/17). But he added, "The NFL publicly projected by 2027, they want to have revenue numbers of approximately $25 billion. If we would have taken the worst deal in the history of sports, by the time they are making $25 billion off the backs, fingers, and legs of our players, our share of all revenue would be somewhere around 25%. My simple question to you as a fan of this sport for a long time: Does that sound fair?” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 3/17).
CONDUCT POLICY IN PLACE: NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy Thursday said that the league "plans to enforce its personal conduct policy even with players prohibited from reporting to team headquarters." FOXSPORTS.com's Alex Marvez noted the policy, enacted in '07, "subjects players to fines and possible suspension at the discretion of" Goodell. McCarthy in an e-mail wrote, "While players won't be able to get the benefit of our evaluation and counseling program during the work stoppage, the personal conduct of players and employees is an integrity-of-the-game issue. Any misconduct that is detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL will certainly be addressed when play resumes." Atallah in response said, "The best amendment the NFL and the owners can make to any policy at this point is to end the lockout" (FOXSPORTS.com, 3/17).