NBPA's Roberts Stands Up For Player Movement Trend In League
NBPA Exec Dir Michele Roberts said that "there is a 'double standard' between how stars are viewed" when they decide to switch teams compared to when franchises "choose to make a major transaction," according to Marc Spears of THE UNDEFEATED. Roberts added team owners "continue to view players as property." She said, "If you want to be critical of one, be critical of both. ... We spend so much time criticizing a player’s decision to move but no time wondering or thinking is anything contoured about a team’s decision to move a player." Roberts: "If a team has the right to trade you, then that’s the way it works. Similarly, if a player has the right to leave, that’s the way it works too." She added, "There's just a perception that owners have rights and players don’t. ... I can’t figure it out except that there is still this perception that you are property, the team is property and I can manage my property any way I want." Roberts said the players and the league need to "stop the chatter" that she thinks is "growing in intensity about the problem of player movement." Roberts: "I don’t see it as a problem any more than I would see a lawyer deciding to work in another firm as a problem" (THEUNDEFEATED.com, 9/18).
GRIDIRON IMPACT: FS1’s Marcellus Wiley noted the influence of NBA player movement on NFL players, saying one new trend is, "no longer do you need to be a superstar to try to pull this." A player seeking a new team "can be a non-superstar, just tier two." The "closer players get to those guaranteed contracts, the more empowered they feel" (“Speak for Yourself,” FS1, 9/17). NBCSN’s Chris Simms said it is a "new age in the NFL." Simms: "Star players have always had this power. I think they’ve just realized how to take advantage of it" (“PFT,” NBCSN, 9/18). However, ESPN’s Mike Golic said NFL player movement "isn’t going to turn into a league-wide thing where every player can pull this type of thing off." ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr.: "Until we see some massive movement where quarterbacks are going to start to leverage it this way ... it’s never going to have that same far-reaching effect” (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 9/18).
NOTHING TO SEE HERE: ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth said NFL player movement "is not an epidemic, and even if it becomes one, I don't see that as a problem." ESPN’s Dan Graziano: "There’s a little worry from the league side on certain aspects of this. I know during the current collective bargaining talks ... there are some owners that have proposed making changes to the penalties for holdouts. ... I don't know if they’ll get anywhere with that, but there is some concern among owners about this increased ability by the players to dictate action. But I don’t think they can stop it" (“Get Up,” ESPN, 9/18).