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NFL, Union Officials Exchange Biting Comments Via Twitter

With tensions rising in the NFL labor negotiations, both sides took their dispute to Twitter last night. After the 15th day of CBA talks with federal mediator George Cohen broke down last night, NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir for External Affairs George Atallah revealed that the union and NFL owners never met face-to-face yesterday and he tweeted, “I would like to request an expense credit from the owners on the last 3 hours of my life.” After Atallah made that remark on Twitter, in addition to a similar one in an e-mail to the AP, NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello responded, “While George is at it, ask him when is union going to respond to our 150 pages of draft CBA provisions that they received eight days ago. Waiting.” Longtime NFL agent Howard Shatsky responded to Aiello on Twitter by writing, “I have just 3 words for Jeff Pash, Greg Aiello and the NFL owners: JUDGE DAVID DOTY!” Shatsky added, “Ill respond for George, you can take your 150 pages of CBA revisions and shove em! Can you say treble damages, Doty is waiting!”

Chiming in, Texans OT and player rep Eric Winston directed a Tweet at Aiello: “Where can the fans buy your jersey next year? You are becoming a star!” Several NFL observers chimed in as well. ESPN's Adam Schefter on Twitter wrote, "During last labor showdown in 2006, NFL's @gregaiello and NFLPA's @GeorgeAtallah weren't on Twitter. Times, tones, timelines are different." 16W Marketing co-Founder Frank Vuono: "Isn't this special? Biggest sports negotiation ever being fought on something called 'twitter.'" The N.Y. Times' Judy Battista added, "The media blackout seems to be going well” (THE DAILY).
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