SBD/March 20, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFLPA Lashes Out At 49ers' York For Suggesting Union Made Up Doctor Survey

York says that the survey muddied relations between players and team doctors
The NFLPA lashed out yesterday at the NFL over comments made by 49ers co-Owner & Chair John York that suggested the union made up a survey of players that showed them overwhelmingly mistrusting team doctors. The union in a statement said, "Coming from an organization that denied Joe Montana's workers compensation benefits for years we are not concerned about the remarks about our player survey. The day the NFL commits itself to taking care of players who have been injured at work is the day we begin to take these types of comments seriously." NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir for External Affairs George Atallah on Twitter wrote the union had only Monday received a letter from the NFL asking for details of the survey. But NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello followed that up on Twitter, responding the letter detailed the numerous attempts by the NFL to get the survey. York said the survey, which he called nonexistent at one point, had muddied what were fine relations between players and team doctors. The NFLPA touted the survey at the Super Bowl, and Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith, when asked during the press conference if the survey and methodology would be made public, replied it would. That has not happened so far. During York’s briefing with reporters yesterday, Aiello added the league knows of no player surveyed about their feelings toward team doctors. The CBA requires the league and union to jointly survey the players about their attitudes toward team doctors. York said he does not believe that can be done anytime soon because the reports of the survey will cause players to question their relationship with team doctors (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer). In N.Y., Judy Battista writes the “fight over the player survey would seem to be the latest tiff in the fractured relationship between the union and the league.” The union “offered a blistering response to York’s remarks” (N.Y. TIMES, 3/20).

OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE: NFL Exec VP/Business Ventures Eric Grubman appeared on CNBC yesterday to discuss the league's deal with Providence Equity Partners. The deal forms a new investment partnership that, according to CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, will hand out $300M “to invest in start-ups that focus on sports, media and technology.” Grubman said the NFL “is a big business” and “lots of opportunities go by us." Grubman: "We tend to take advantage of them, historically, when we have a partner and we sign a long-term contract. It’s always been a licensing deal, and there are a lot of opportunities with the changes in media and technology for people to invest. So we wanted to have that opportunity to try to get into the investment business and that’s what this is all about.” He said the NFL partnered with Providence because media and technology are a “lot of the things we see,” Providence is “very good" in that investment area and “has been for many, many years so." Grubman: "This seemed like a natural fit for us to get started.” He said the partnership now is in effect and the league will not have to “have a start-up ourselves to be able to do this," and instead can use the infrastructure at Providence. Grubman: "It’s not to say we’ll never hire anyone but we’re going to walk before we can run. ... It’s really an investment partnership so that simplifies it and demystifies it” (“Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo,” CNBC, 3/19).
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