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NFL Network would continue to interview and host players in a lockout

NFL NETWORK

During Thursday’s visit with former Falcons and Seahawks coach Jim Mora on PFT Live, I asked him in his capacity as an NFL Network analyst whether the prohibition on team contact with players in the event of a lockout would extend to the league-owned broadcast operation, which routinely hosts and interviews players in the offseason.  Mora said that NFLN has been making contingency plans for programming in the event of a lockout, and that the network possibly would not be interviewing players or having them on as guests.

Given that Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com recently reported that team-owned websites will likely be prevented from talking to players, it’s hardly a stretch that league-owned properties would face the same restriction.

If that happens, however, it won’t arise from a decision by the league to treat the players as off limits.

“We will continue to invite players to be guests on NFL Network and will continue to interview them as well,” NFL Network spokesman Dennis Johnson told PFT via e-mail.

Of course, that doesn’t mean players will accept those invitations.  The league owns the network, and the league would be locking them out.  Unless the appearance would be used in part as a platform for the player to state the union’s case on airwaves owned by the league, we can’t imagine why any player would want to give the league’s TV channel content at a time when the league refuses to give the players access to their workplace.

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7 Responses to “NFL Network would continue to interview and host players in a lockout”
  1. otistaylor89 says: Mar 3, 2011 5:08 PM

    Good, ’cause I need my Rich Eisen and his light social banter with players in times like these.

    I’m actually serious…

  2. Canyonero says: Mar 3, 2011 5:20 PM

    Methinks you guys need a new picture.

  3. hobartbaker says: Mar 3, 2011 5:21 PM

    The boys will all turn up at NFLN with their job apps in hand.

  4. 3octaveFart says: Mar 3, 2011 6:09 PM

    “…team-owned websites will likely be prevented from talking to players, it’s hardly a stretch that league-owned properties would face the same restriction.”

    Right, sort of like when the NFL still sells 8×10 glossies in the “company store” of the same vicious hits that players were fined or suspended for.

    It’s all about the money.

  5. goodjet says: Mar 3, 2011 6:19 PM

    Good for them —– And I will surly NOT be watching it (The NFL Network) —- Because if there is a lockout there will also be a BOYCOTT —– And that’s a fact

  6. Kave Krew says: Mar 3, 2011 6:28 PM

    When the players appear on the NFLN, you will then know that the end is near. Appearing on the network will be the first sign of the players getting itchy and this act will essentially be considered ‘crossing the picket line’ before actually crossing the picket lines.

  7. stanklepoot says: Mar 3, 2011 6:40 PM

    I have a feeling that players will continue to appear on NFLN as long as they feel they’ll get fair treatment there, and nothing I’ve seen so far has indicated that they wouldn’t. Aside from discussing gambling, I haven’t seen or heard of any restrictions on what the on air talent can discuss. Even the current negotiations and potential lockout have been discussed in an objective way. Remember, a large part of the on air talent are former players themselves, and the ones who aren’t tend to have strong relationships with current and former players. If anything, NFLN has gone out of its way to be neutral in the matter. While I didn’t hear a whole lot of ringing endorsements about Doty’s ruling, neither did I hear any attacks on it. They simply reported the story and both sides reactions. For now, at least, it appears the league has done the smart thing and kept a mostly hands-off approach when it comes to how the NFLN is run. They need for it to have some credibility if it’s going to be successful, and if they come off as simply a mouthpiece for the owners then they lose that credibility and they lose the cooperation of current and former players every time there’s an issue of contention between the league and the players.

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