On the first day of what could be seven days, or eventually plenty more, of mediation under the leadership of George H. Cohen, the NFL and the players’ union have something to say.
They’re saying that they won’t be saying anything.
“George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, has requested & both sides have agreed that the NFLPA & NFL refrain from making any public comments about any aspect of the mediation process. The process began today under the direction of Mr. Cohen,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a joint statement of the league and the NFLPA.
We’ve heard this before from the two sides. And not long after they decided not to talk about their negotiations, both sides were talking about their negotiations.
The difference this time is that, if there are any leaks, they’ll have to answer to Cohen. Then again, Cohen can’t really do anything about it. For mediation used in civil litigation, the ability of the mediator to complain to the judge keeps the two sides in line. In this instance, Cohen has no one to whom he can turn if either side disregards his preferences and/or acts like jerks.