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Union has no regrets regarding war metaphor

In a recent meeting with a group of NFL player representatives, NFLPA executive director De Smith declared, “We are at war!

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagreed, and ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said he was “repelled” by the remark.

On Wednesday’s edition of PFT Live, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah addressed the situation, and he said that the union has no regrets regarding the words chosen by Smith.

“Metaphors get used all the time,” Atallah said.  “I’m not going to apologize for what De said. . . .  It’s a strange world we live in where the players are being threatened with their own economic demise on one had, and people pick apart a comment or a quote . . . on the other hand.  Frankly, I’d much rather spend more time talking about the steps and the threats and the realities facing our players heading into a possible lockout than I am worried about one line that our executive director said to a group of players.”

He added that fans should be far more troubled not by the words used by the union but by the work stoppage currently being threatened by the owners.

“That’s what people should be outraged about,” Atallah said.  “They shouldn’t be outraged about a metaphor.  They should be outraged about threatening games being canceled next year without providing any justification for it.”

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30 Responses to “Union has no regrets regarding war metaphor”
  1. Akula says: Jan 26, 2011 1:57 PM

    Economic Demise?????….Well at least nobody is over reacting. I know our homeless shelters were full last night.

  2. mvp43 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:02 PM

    Listen George……you and the union look real bad right now. I don’t personally have an issue with the war reference either, but you have to put out these little fires before they spread. You’re not helping yourself (or the players) by blowing it off.

  3. darthvincent says: Jan 26, 2011 2:06 PM

    so far the Commissioner and the NFL Owners haven’t done very much to get my ire up…. the NFLPA has done so many, many times over the last few months.

  4. purplepete24 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:06 PM

    “players are being threatened with their own economic demise” — Really? Did he really say that? Go work for $10 an hour at a job that is not secure, with the threat of daily layoffs. Live paycheck to paycheck and come talk to the fans about “economic demise.” The more rhetoric I hear from the NFLPA, the more I just don’t care. Both the owners and the players need to get it through their heads that they need the fans more then the fans need overpaid multi-millionaires. Espically ones that cry about their economic demise. I welcome them to live one day in the shoes of a laid off worker on unemployment not knowing where food, rent, and clothes will be coming from. maybe then they will know what economic demise is. In the words of one cry baby millionaire….”child, please”

  5. ctw500 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:13 PM

    Why pick this fight if you are the NFLPA? Not exactly smart to brush off criticism by veterans of your use of the word “war” and instead say that they should be worried about the “economic dimise” of multimillionaire athletes.

    Just apologize for using the word and move on…

  6. vahawker says: Jan 26, 2011 2:16 PM

    What a bunch clowns running the NFLPA. Crazy idea…try talking to the league instead of the press and GET A NEW CBA DONE!!!! What a marooon.

  7. jimmysee says: Jan 26, 2011 2:19 PM

    With American troops dying in battle nearly every day, calling the union-NFL negotiation a “war” is insensitive at best, stupid at worst.

    It is no way to win the hearts and minds of the fans to the union position.

  8. hobartbaker says: Jan 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    “There shall be wars, and ridiculous rumor mongering of ‘wars’. Plague, famine, and economic demise shall sweep the land. Behold the Grim Repossessor, he shall ride upon a pale horse”.

  9. holdthemayo123 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:25 PM

    Nevermind the war reference, saying these guys will have an economic demise due to a work stoppage is repulsive. Even if you are talking about guys making the league minimum, they could live on that (if responsible) for YEARS. The union’s attempt to paint these guys are downtrodden little blue collar workers is going to hurt them big time – don’t know if you have noticed, but there are work stoppages that go on all the time that actually DO lead to people’s economic demise.

  10. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 26, 2011 2:26 PM

    Unhappy with the use of the word “War” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah addressed the situation, and urged players to use the word “jihad”.

  11. oscojoe says: Jan 26, 2011 2:31 PM

    No regret? Concerned about the players economic demise? get real there NFLPA. This isn’t a typical Labor Vs. Managment. Your rhetoric and use of some metaphors is down right childish and insulting. Get realistic & out of the gutter and negotiate in good faith. Stop playing the political game and get a deal done!!!

  12. bennybob says: Jan 26, 2011 2:33 PM

    De Smith didn’t just use a War metaphor. He also indicated an unwillingness to negotiate.

    “Nobody gets strong without fighting.”
    “Nobody stays strong without fighting. Nobody negotiates their way to strength. Nobody talks their way to a good deal. Nobody sits down and just has miraculous things happen.”

    This A$$hole said he isn’t going to sit down and work this out. He is trying to force the lockout to push his own agenda and raise his own profile in order to further his political aspirations. Forget about how the fans feel or how it impacts the players.

    The owners have at least been willing to sit down and talk. Apparently De has no interest in even doing that.

  13. godofwine330 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:33 PM

    Why should they? As one poster clearly stated, 2 out of 6 of the Webster dictionary definitions of war met the criteria of what Smith referred to.

  14. benh999 says: Jan 26, 2011 2:38 PM

    Perhaps DeBag Smith and the PA need to provide better life-training for players if they can’t manage to save roughly 10% of their yearly gross (minimum $300k?) to go a few months without a pay check. [Aren’t offseason stipends pretty low anyway? The economic impact to players shouldn’t be particularly noticeable unless a lockout were to extend into the regular season.]

    If things are so dire, why is he playing hardball with the league? Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the people he supposedly represents to get them the best deal possible and avoid a work stoppage? As far as I can tell, the league only agreed to the last CBA because of the option to terminate it after two years. How can DeBag possibly think the league will give them even more this time around?

  15. blessedresistor says: Jan 26, 2011 2:56 PM

    As a hardcore football fan it really scares me how delusional the NFLPA people are. I have yet to talk to single fellow fan who is taking the union’s side on this issue. It’s becoming more clear that the NFLPA is not only not going to get a deal done, but is actually pushing for a lockout to further their clout and careers (I’m looking at you D-Smith!)

  16. snnyjcbs says: Jan 26, 2011 3:14 PM

    Way to go to the Union. People know how it was meant, only today’s winner, the ones that are responsible for the Nation turning into nothing but a bunch of PUNKS have a problem with it.

    These High and Mighty type like to have their heads shoved so far4 up others rears pushing what they see as right or wrong down others throats. Only an idiot would think they were trying to compare what they are in to what our Troops have done and are doing. It is and has always been a figure of speech.

    Boy this country is in sad shape, from the PETA Fools, to the California Whack Job that wants to tell you what you can eat and where and when you can walk this country is being destroyed. Wake up people and when these whacks and idiots speak up on this trivial garbage people should make them feel like the FOOLS that they really are.

  17. jamaltimore says: Jan 26, 2011 3:17 PM

    Why would they like most unions they are delusional! Those same unions have done such a great job with the auto industry! I know cue the Union Rats who say it’s the man who’s making these POOR guys play 16 games a year and actually hit during practice! STFU,now with obama care they are all covered forever so what else do they need
    Seriously, I guess unions are necessary but the idiots who run them are no different from the owners and ceo’s the denounce.

  18. geniusesq says: Jan 26, 2011 3:17 PM

    The NFL Owners still will collectively earn billions of dollars EVEN if there are NO games next year. So essentially, 32 billionaire owners (who get paid if there is no Football anyway) are taking the game hostage over several millions of dollars that only a small percentage of the players even make that much or have any left when they are on their death bed at age 55.

    I’ve never seen an owner need his knee reconstructed, or get a concussion watching from the Luxe Box.

    Advantage NFLPA

  19. southbeachtalent says: Jan 26, 2011 3:18 PM

    I guess I’ll be watching a lot of MMA this year!

  20. nfl4ever says: Jan 26, 2011 3:19 PM

    Just lock both sides in a room that has an adjoining bathroom and nobody gets out until a deal is done. Enough of this crap!

  21. geniusesq says: Jan 26, 2011 3:22 PM

    Do your research people. The billion dollar Television deals that the League and the Owners profit from will pay them regardless as to whether there is football this year or not.

    But, the players, staff people, coaches, stadium workers etc, will make NOTHING if there are no games.

    Essentially, the Owners could make MORE money during a lockout, yet everyone else will make less. At a time where the NFL is the most popular sport in the World, and its prestigious fraternity of 32 multi billionaires are all doing better than ever, how could any average fan making 100k or less side with the NFL???

    Not to mention the (i) short NFL shelf life (ii) short life span of an NFL player and (iii) track record of denying players their pension benefits and/or benefits under the league’s Health Insurance plan once the player is retired and/or recovering from 20-30 surgeries.

    Get clues people.

  22. geniusesq says: Jan 26, 2011 3:25 PM

    This thread is proof that the NFL is winning the Public Relations battle.

    Don’t you people realize that the Union is NOT ASKING FOR ANYTHING MORE???

    The NFL is asking the players to TAKE LESS.

    If there is a lockout it is because the NFL Owners are too greedy to leave well enough alone.


  23. nitemare1 says: Jan 26, 2011 3:30 PM


    Thats quite a statement from someone who can’t even support themselves

  24. spartyfi says: Jan 26, 2011 3:32 PM

    I served in the military and quite frankly find it silly how people over react to someone saying they’re “going to war”. If you can’t handle someone using war as a metaphor then you have some serious issues. Get over it people, not big deal. I’m no “De” fan but let’s move on. What’s worse is this guy saying “economic demise”, now that’s laughable!

  25. hooterdawg says: Jan 26, 2011 3:34 PM

    Apparently neither Sal Paolantonio or PFT has a very broad knowledge of the english language. One of the many definitions of the noun ‘war ‘is : •an active struggle between competing entities; “a price war”; “a war of wits”; “diplomatic warfare”
    It funny how so many people risk looking stupid because of their own ignorance.

  26. nopuntintended says: Jan 26, 2011 3:36 PM

    I hope none of the posters complaining about the “war” metaphor EVER say they’re “starving”

    Because you know, millions of people worldwide are LITERALLY starving.

    American soldiers are doing a job they signed up for. If they didn’t want to be put in a position where they are risking their lives, they should find another occupation.

    I feel sorry for the families of those who have lost loved ones, I really do, but being touchy about the word “war” is absolutely ridiculous.

  27. xpensivewinos says: Jan 26, 2011 3:40 PM

    We certainly have some insight into why they can’t make a deal. How can the NFL negotiate with people who don’t even have one toe in the pool of reality.

    Going to be interesting, because the players that have the most influence to shut DeTour down are probably the same ones who can afford to wait this out. It’s going to take loudmouths idiots like Cromartie who make tons, but still live paycheck to paycheck (for whatever reason) to join together and say, make a deal.

  28. twindaddy says: Jan 26, 2011 4:02 PM

    I’m confused. When did the league say they wanted to lock anyone out. The only side I’ve heard use the word “lockout” is the union. Quite frankly, this whole thing is getting out of hand. It seems like the union wants the owners to lock the players out so they can say “I told you so.” If the union really had the best interests of the players at heart they would stop talking to the media and start talking to the NFL to get a deal done. Doing anything else at this point is counter-productive and stupid.

  29. 23chameleons says: Jan 26, 2011 4:43 PM

    Dear Mr. Atallah,

    Don’t tell me what I should and should not worry about, sir. You’re an absolute nobody in my world.

    And if you’re OK with the war reference, maybe you should visit our troops whose lives are threatened every day with far more than “economic demise” in an effort to ensure the very freedoms we’ve come to expect in this country.

    You will be judged not only by WHAT you get done with regards to the CBA, but also WHEN you get it done. So let’s keep our (your) eye on the ball, OK ?

    Best Regards,
    Every NFL Fan

  30. ftcsubs says: Jan 27, 2011 5:03 AM

    I served for 20 years. I do not appreciate the way Mr. Atallah explained his bosses words. he chose some choice words himself. STARVING? Really… the minimum salary is what 350K. for working half a year. the only way they would be Starving if they spent their money irresponsibly. they sure do like to exaggerate their words. maybe they would like to live like the rest of America lives. 10 % unemployment. let alone people in other countries. or maybe they would like to go to real war. and have bullets shot over their head. maybe these people ought to get a clue and speak intelligently and not offend people. how much is the owners making per year compared to the players. are there teams owners making less per year than say Peyton Manning. look at other CEOs in this country how much they make. I would not be surprised if there are teams losing money this year. The reason the player are not asking for anything and want to continue with status quo is pretty obvious. I dont know what the owners were thinking last time to giive 60 % to the players. those poor players only making 330K to 20 some million.

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