NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith Defends Strength Of His Union When Compared To MLBPA
NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith on Wednesday addressed the perception that his organization is not as strong as the MLBPA during a conversation with ESPN's Dan Le Batard. Asked how he responds when NFL players ask him why the MLBPA is "so much stronger than our union," Smith said, "I ask them why do they think so." He said, "You look at where we came from at the beginning of this lockout in 2009, and [the] facts are clear: the league wanted us to play 18 games, they wanted to take away the players' defined benefit plan, they wanted a strict rookie wage scale. Those three things were things that the league had prepared for for years. When we got through the lockout, we ended up with a larger share of revenue than we’ve ever had in the history of the National Football League. We certainly aren’t playing 18 games and every one of our players kept their pensions.” Smith said the “best part of this job is you get to know the young men behind the helmet." Smith: "While I may not rise and fall on how a game ends, the great part of this job is really knowing the young men as family men, good husbands, good sons, good brothers, and that part’s cool” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 2/13).