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Tumultuous day of labor news ends with spokesman Twitter spat

G. Atallah

Thursday’s labor sparring wasn’t just contained to Demaurice Smith and Jeff Pash.

In an exchange that encapsulates the rising tension between the league and player’s union,  we present some comments from NFLPA spokesman George Atallah and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

Atallah, speaking to Bob Glauber of Newsday:  “If owners continue to question players’ commitment to negotiations, we’re prepared to make public all our unanswered proposals.”

Aiello on Twitter in response:  “While George is at it, ask him when is union going to respond to our 150 pages of draft CBA provisions that they received eight days ago. Waiting.”

Atallah on Twitter: “I would like to request an expense credit from the owners on the last three hours of my life.”

Attallah also emailed to the Associated Press that the only thing the NFL has “been committed to is a lockout.”

Well, that was depressing.

We’ve apparently reached the point where both sides are trying to win public favor and snipe instead of truly working together.  It’s amazing to think either side believes this approach will go over well with fans.

This back-and-forth hammers home a point we’ve said all along.   In the end, there won’t be a right side to this debate.  An agreement is right, and a lack of agreement is wrong.

There will be no winners in a work stoppage and both sides seem to care too much about being viewed as the biggest loser.

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68 Responses to “Tumultuous day of labor news ends with spokesman Twitter spat”
  1. shieldsisland37 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:18 PM

    Why cant they shut up and just get a deal done? Is that to much to ask?

  2. hobartbaker says: Mar 10, 2011 10:25 PM

    100% of those who preferred “a free bottle in front of me” to a pre-frontal lobotomy also preferred a “Spitter twat” to a Twitter spat.

  3. whatevnfl says: Mar 10, 2011 10:26 PM

    I didn’t realize 6th grade girls were running these negotiations.

  4. bbb82 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:28 PM

    Deal or no deal, they have lost my ticket money for 2011.

  5. nepatriots128154 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:28 PM

    I’m starting to really, really detest the NFL right now. That includes the union and the owners.

  6. gentlax13 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:32 PM

    Maybe they should kick the lawyers and the spokespeople out of the room. Way to act like children guys.

    There are at least $9,000,000,000 on the table. You’d think that would be some professionalism on both sides.

  7. bleedblue18 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:33 PM

    The owners want back a billion dollars that the NFLPA negotiated back in the CBA of 2006.

    Heres a thought why don’t the two sides meet in the middle and owners get 500 million of that billion and the players get the other 500 million.

    Done deal.

  8. wtfru2 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:34 PM

    Why the extension? So they have more time to become angrier with each other. This is childish crap these two (adults) are contributing.

    Well, not buying one season ticket won’t hurt them too much but it’s a start.

    See ya kids….

  9. jstrizzle says: Mar 10, 2011 10:37 PM

    There will be no winners in a work stoppage and both sides seem to care too much about being viewed as the biggest loser.

    Was that a plug for NBC’s biggest loser? You should get a bonus for that.

  10. coffinberry says: Mar 10, 2011 10:41 PM

    Im going to start my own league. Who’s with me?

  11. robatopia says: Mar 10, 2011 10:42 PM

    Yup, both sides are losing. I already passed on buying a couple of jerseys as presents in December because of the possibility of no season or “scab” football. If they go to official lockout or decertification, I will be canceling my Sunday Ticket. They had multiple offseasons to get this settled, and they chose not to. So I’ll shrink the size of their pie the meager amount that I can.

  12. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 10, 2011 10:42 PM

    If the NFLPA decertifies tomorrow afternoon, then the NFL should move to swiftly challenge that decertification on the grounds that it’s a “sham,” or mere “posturing.” The league should also move for a hearing on its unfair labor practice charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

    This NFLPA fiction that the league/owners wanted to lock out the players all along is an insult to the intelligence of every NFL fan, and presents a staggering contradiction. It’s a given that the NFL wants to AVOID litigation—the very thing that would result from a player lockout. Think about it.

    Fans also need to understand that it’s one thing to make a contingency plan in the event of player lockout (i.e., “lockout insurance”), but an entirely different thing to plan to make a lockout actually happen. That’s talking apples and oranges—two very different things.

    During the course of these negotiations, what CONCESSIONS—NOT PROPOSALS—has the NFLPA made? I hope Jeff Pash publicly expounds on that at length if—or, perhaps I should say, when—the you-know-what hits the fan tomorrow.

  13. 411dooleybug1 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:42 PM

    Children settles disputes with more maturity.

  14. 411dooleybug1 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:43 PM

    settle

  15. jfreddoso says: Mar 10, 2011 10:44 PM

    Great–two twits who don’t understand that labor negotiations are about compromise and not winning and losing going at it in the twitosphere. Thrilling —

    You know I really like college football. Let’s move some college games to Sunday.

  16. duanethomas says: Mar 10, 2011 10:48 PM

    No deal is going to get done, the extension from last week was each side saving face for the public. Like politics the moderates on both sides are being ignored. This will go on and into next season. Its not about the fan’s it about the money, billions of it. The owners don’t want a fair deal, they want revenge and to bring the union to it knee’s. Its going to get ugly.

  17. kernelreefer says: Mar 10, 2011 10:50 PM

    Atallah’s first comment makes sense from a negotiating point of view.

    After that, it somehow goes downhill from where it was. I’m with shieldsisland37.

    And if they can’t get a deal done, can they at least just shut up?

  18. ursushorribilis says: Mar 10, 2011 10:52 PM

    I see a BAD MOON RISING…….I hear lawyers are parachuting into D.C. as we speak…..they are the only ones who will benefit from this mess……

  19. vikinghooper says: Mar 10, 2011 10:58 PM

    You have to have a similar life experience to truly understand what is happening here.
    Not that I am in any world in the owners or players financial class, but in my experience the amount of money you have is ground zero.
    Fans feel owners and players have too much money, but they are as insecure about money as the rest of us, and the more money you have. sometimes the more insecure.
    You don’t accumulate a billion dollars by not counting every dollar.
    Although I love football as much as anybody, this sadly will come down to the owners having leverage and using it to retain more of the money. It can only happen unfortunately, with a lockout to sap the average player’s finacial reserves.
    The wealthy play hard, they play rough, and they play to win, and in most cases wealth wins out.

  20. rushbacker says: Mar 10, 2011 11:01 PM

    Just get it done, clowns.

  21. fonetiklee says: Mar 10, 2011 11:09 PM

    One step forward, two steps back. Terrific.

  22. edion1473 says: Mar 10, 2011 11:11 PM

    If they end up with a big legal battle, I plan on becoming one of the biggest voices to have the Fans go on strike, not buy their tickets, or merchandise, and we can picket outside their stadiums. Both the owners and players need to realize none of them are going to be successful without us. And I for one am tired of both sides immaturity and greed.

  23. mataug says: Mar 10, 2011 11:12 PM

    somehow these guys fail to realize that the fans are not voters whom they are trying to impress… nobody outside the group of owners & players cares about whether it is a 50-50 split or 59-41 split or the lord knows what

  24. stanklepoot says: Mar 10, 2011 11:17 PM

    Gregg, you forgot the tweet from someone from the NFLPA telling Aiello to shove the 150 pages of draft cba provisions and enthusiastically reminding him of the triple damages Doty can award in a court case.

  25. stanklepoot says: Mar 10, 2011 11:20 PM

    Correction, it was someone from ProFootballMgmt. Here’s the tweet I mentioned: “@ProFootballMgmt: @gregaiello You can take your 150 pages of CBA revisions and shove em! Can you say treble damages, Doty is waiting!”

  26. johnnyb216 says: Mar 10, 2011 11:27 PM

    Wow. This seems to be going down the wrong path. Lots of frustration in these statements. I hope I’m wrong, but I’d consider preparing for the worst.

  27. eatingcereal says: Mar 10, 2011 11:29 PM

    Atallah on Twitter: “I would like to request an expense credit from the owners on the last three hours of my life.”

    Can us fans also get an expense credit for these greedy billionaire owners and millionaire players wasting the past week of our lives with all this nonsense. Stop the arguing over twitter and get a deal done! Enough already.

  28. windowace says: Mar 10, 2011 11:30 PM

    Greed is why. Until the courts rule against the union they will go that route . Both sides are wrong in this.

  29. oaklegend says: Mar 10, 2011 11:37 PM

    Frankly, the players need to press for all they can get, but do anything possible to avoid a lock-out because I’ll be just fine watching scabs for a while… certainly not forever, but for a while.

  30. phinfan says: Mar 10, 2011 11:39 PM

    Well it’s a good thing ollege won’t have lockouts. Go canes

  31. zn0rseman says: Mar 10, 2011 11:50 PM

    I remember when Maytag was negotiating with their Union, the UAW. Ownership flat out told them that if they wouldn’t take a slight decrease in benefits, that the company could not continue operations. The UAW refused, and convinced most of the emplyees that the company was bluffing, even though the UAW knew they were not bluffing because they were shown the books. Maytag, an American icon, shut down and the UAW was responsible. But the UAW doesn’t care because the union didnt care about it’s employes, or the town they lived in, or the thousands of people who lost eveything because they believed in them… the only thing the UAW cared about was not giving in under any circumstances.

    Sure, you can still buy Maytag products but Maytag doesn’t really exist, as Whirlpool bought the Maytag name and produces “Maytag” products on Whirlpool assembly lines in Mexico. Too late to fix it now.

    If the NFL locks out because their union was similarly stupid and short sighted… it will probably be a good thing because us fans will wake up and reaslize that we really don’t need the NFL and that there are a lot of sports out their that are just as entertaining to watch.

  32. theocb485 says: Mar 10, 2011 11:50 PM

    Screw em both, send it to litigation… If they can’t split a zillion dollars just do it for them. Hate to say but the NFL is not simply a business or a sport its a part of America, someday doomed to go the fate of Roman Gladiator games but for now it is our culture, they must play football. Has ‘futbol’ ever locked out or gone on strike? (no seriously I’m too lazy to research).

    If the NFL became a public company tomorrow and all stocks were up for grabs, it would be sold out in seconds…

  33. eknirb says: Mar 10, 2011 11:52 PM

    screw these guys. billionaire owners, multi-millionaire players, and what they already have isn’t enough.

    get lost, guys. Opening Day for MLB in 3 weeks.

  34. madesian says: Mar 10, 2011 11:55 PM

    dont they realize they’re both losing if there is no season? this will have long-term affects on the game and its making for an embarrassing situation for everyone. They’re looking like children and are getting nothing done by taking shots at each other through twitter. just get a deal done, give a little get a little and act like adults here people.

  35. carolinethedog says: Mar 11, 2011 12:17 AM

    I’m I the only one who wishes Twitter would die a quick and efficient death? Is there anything less manly than a “tweet?”

  36. scytherius says: Mar 11, 2011 12:22 AM

    Where greedy billionaires are involved, you are just gonna get screwed.

  37. wcpatsfan says: Mar 11, 2011 12:23 AM

    Grow up!

  38. ddavid1966 says: Mar 11, 2011 12:23 AM

    $100+ crude, uprisings in the middle east. Our boys are still dying in foreign lands, housing market is still in the toliet, economy still sucks!

    Oh and these people that get paid to play a game can’t agree on how they are going to split millions and billions. Who cares!

  39. nothimagain says: Mar 11, 2011 12:24 AM

    While it’s true that we the fans will suffer it’s moronic to believe one of the sides should just accept a bad deal (at this point that is what it will take) simply so a deal gets done.
    Unfortunately the simplicity of the issue – reaching mutual acceptance – is mired in a huge web of complexity. It’s only healthy to sit back and let this all play out, either in the courts or in summer when the checks aren’t coming. CBA’s in professional sports aren’t comparable to CBA’s in rest of our country’s private or public sector.

  40. ddavid1966 says: Mar 11, 2011 12:24 AM

    If there is no more NFL there will be another group or sport to take it’s place.

  41. jaggedmark says: Mar 11, 2011 12:27 AM

    There will be no winners in a work stoppage and both sides seem to care too much about being viewed as the biggest loser.

    Oh, they’ll be winners, they are: Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, & National Basketball Association.

  42. desertpirate1146 says: Mar 11, 2011 12:29 AM

    It’s over now. Regressed to acting like 4 year olds fighting over a toy. This fan of football (going back to Oiler games in the old AFL) is done.
    I’m sure the few of us that do give up won’t make a difference, because most NFL fans will go back whenever they play again. The money is so big that they could care less about a few middle class fans that are fed up.
    For me, the goose that laid the golden egg just died..

    Goodbye NFL..it was nice while it lasted..

  43. bpfpft says: Mar 11, 2011 12:45 AM

    In all reality to the fans of the game this situation is not a pressing issue till August. Both sides are trying to involve the fans and endear themselves to the fans with comments in the media but the exchange above tells most fans all we need to know. Both sides are dug in and both sides are not willing to compromise, because the harm done between now and August will only be minor in nature. The draft will go on as planned and more than likely football will be played in August or September. No work stopage has ever lasted more than a month. There’s 5+/- mos from now till start of season. This situation means more to sites like this and business revolving around the game than to the fans at this point.

    A big warning to both sides. Both the NFLPA and the owners need to become more willing to compromise than they’ve shown to this point. When it comes to labor-related lawsuits neither side can be sure of victory and both should really fear the consequences of defeat.

    They should look at 1987 as an example of losing when you think you’ve won. That strike was a total defeat for the NFLPA. After 24 days on strike about 15% of players crossed the picket line (some famous players: Largent, Randy White, etc). Having lost all leverage, the players had to go back to work without winning free agency, without winning a guaranteed share of league revenue, without even reaching a deal on a new cba. The owners’ victory was so convincing that in 1989 the NFLPA decertified. We all know story that under federal labor law workers gain standing to file class-action lawsuits against their employers only if they are not part of a union. So, having been crushed in their 1987 strike the players ended up winning in court in the end.

    Sometimes it’s better to bend a little than to break.

  44. derpdederpdederp says: Mar 11, 2011 12:45 AM

    millionaires and billionaires fighting over billions of dollars. nobody cares. just get a deal done. if you cant i for one have no sympathy for you and am prepared to endure 6 months your whiny league on TV every sunday

  45. derpdederpdederp says: Mar 11, 2011 12:45 AM

    “without your whiny league on TV”

  46. p4ck3r5 says: Mar 11, 2011 12:59 AM

    greedy!

  47. fin72 says: Mar 11, 2011 2:09 AM

    shieldsisland37 says:
    Mar 10, 2011 10:18 PM
    Why cant they shut up and just get a deal done? Is that to much to ask?

    ________________________________

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that simple. As a concerned fan I’ve been following this situation closely from the start. I’ve long been pro-management throughout the years, but as it relates to these negotiations the owners are 100% to blame. All they continue to do is push, push, push (18-game season, 1 billion dollars back, rookie pool, etc…) while the players are asking for nothing besides proof of why the owners are making such harsh and extreme demands. On top of that, the TV lockout insurance money was plain and simple proof that the owners are willing to use under-handed tactics to impose their will on the people who help make the league what it is. You can’t blame the players for not accepting an offer that’s totally unreasonable. Sure they make more money than you or I in the short-term, but that’s not the point. Simply put, they’ve been bullied into a corner and have no choice but to do what they have to do to protect their interests. Besides, if the union decertifies at least we get to continue watching football. The bottom line is the owners thought they could just have their way with the players and the fans, and instead it looks like they’re about to get caught in their own trap.

  48. sdboltaction says: Mar 11, 2011 2:35 AM

    Let governor Walker in WI send the message.

  49. covercorner says: Mar 11, 2011 2:56 AM

    They sound like 2 little babies fighting.

  50. ffootballontwitter says: Mar 11, 2011 3:12 AM

    I feel sick this is happening. But it’s clear that De Smith is hell-bent on getting leverage on the owners in any way possible, not just in this round of negotiations, but for the next as well.

    If he has to burn the game to the ground, as long as he can say the owners were responsible, he’s fine with the results.

    Ugh.

  51. hedleykow says: Mar 11, 2011 3:13 AM

    Owners and players should mutually agree to play the 2011 season for charity, and resume lock out talks in Feb 2012.

    ha ha

  52. phillyfinsfan says: Mar 11, 2011 4:17 AM

    “Being, egotistic, selfish, and greedy is no way to go through life, Son.”. And we the fans who feed the machine are left to suffer.

  53. ajtexans says: Mar 11, 2011 4:33 AM

    Way to kill the golden goose, you bunch of greedy, ego maniacal bleeps.

  54. rojones82 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:22 AM

    So much for a new deal. This is well and truly screwed now. Time to press the nuke button and see what comes of it all.

  55. moseszd says: Mar 11, 2011 6:19 AM

    It sounds like none of them have grown up since high school…

  56. dryheaveone says: Mar 11, 2011 6:25 AM

    D’OH NO!….not lookin’ like they be any foowtball this year!

  57. descendency says: Mar 11, 2011 6:51 AM

    just lawyer up, get it over, and get back to the off-season again – just please?

  58. tonyd56784 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:24 AM

    Join The Group above on Facebook to Boycott the NFL if theres a lockout

  59. eagleswin says: Mar 11, 2011 8:17 AM

    fin72 says:
    Mar 11, 2011 2:09 AM
    ==============

    DeSmith, shouldn’t you be trying to negotiate with the owners rather than spewing propaganda on PFT?

    We get that you hate the owners and the players are angels descended from on high but try to bring some perspective to your argument. This isn’t about some heroic underdog fighting the good fight.

    The owners made a contingency plan to save their business in a worst case scenerio. Their priority is to keep the business running. What do you think the unions highly publicized “decertification tour” was? Was that bargaining in good faith? Last I checked, the owners weren’t trying to take away any benefits from the players. The gold plated health care, pensions, tuition assistance, free rides, mental/marriage counselling, etc.

    Honestly, Peyton is going to get his 23 million regardless of whether the union wins or not. At least when Reggie White attached his name to the antitrust suit he had something to gain (free agency). Manning can be as angry and outspoken as he wants but neither he nor any of the other “Star QBs” have any stake in this CBA battle. They are not fighting over benefits, they are only fighting over the salary cap numbers. The owners will pay the lower end players less to keep the star players happy.

    The owners aren’t angels but the union is at least as bad if not worse.

  60. eaglebobby says: Mar 11, 2011 8:18 AM

    There’s a couple of things we’re overlooking here–if the union decertifies, there can be no lockout on the part of the owners–because there wouldn’t be any union members to lock out. So if the NFLPA cries to Doty that they’ve been locked out, I’m not sure they’d win, since they made the move to dissolve.

    Secondly, there’s a bigger battle that will be waged. Someone on here said it would be millionaires vs billionaires, however, only about 6-7 players on each team make in the millions. If the league ceases operations after the union decertifies, how many of those players NOT making millions will be hurting say, the 4th week in September, if this thing stretches that far.

    That’s why on the NFL side, it would be prudent to submit the “last best offer” rules so they can still play–if non-union players don’t want to attend camps, and games, that’s on them.

  61. purpleman527 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:36 AM

    So does this mean that a deal will or won’t happen?

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but we all knew from the get go that this was going to be a bloodbath.

  62. lucky5927 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:37 AM

    Can we get some people in there who do not have a dog in this fight and have them hammer out a deal that is fair? I think it is completely rediculous that these men have nothing better to do than throw each under the bus because grown a$$ adults can’t compromise and come to an agreement. I am sickened by all of this pathetic drama.

  63. pmars64 says: Mar 11, 2011 9:14 AM

    fin72 says:
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that simple. As a concerned fan I’ve been following this situation closely from the start. I’ve long been pro-management throughout the years, but as it relates to these negotiations the owners are 100% to blame. All they continue to do is push, push, push (18-game season, 1 billion dollars back, rookie pool, etc…) while the players are asking for nothing besides proof of why the owners are making such harsh and extreme demands. On top of that, the TV lockout insurance money was plain and simple proof that the owners are willing to use under-handed tactics to impose their will on the people who help make the league what it is. You can’t blame the players for not accepting an offer that’s totally unreasonable. Sure they make more money than you or I in the short-term, but that’s not the point. Simply put, they’ve been bullied into a corner and have no choice but to do what they have to do to protect their interests. Besides, if the union decertifies at least we get to continue watching football. The bottom line is the owners thought they could just have their way with the players and the fans, and instead it looks like they’re about to get caught in their own trap.

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. It was the owners who walked out a few weeks ago when the union basically conceded with their proposal. It was the owners who were preparing for at least two years to lock-out the players by negotiating the TV contracts. The owners still have more power than most other league owners because most player contracts are not guaranteed. It is hilarious that now the owners claim the players don’t really want to negotiate when the owners weren’t interested at all until of Doty’s decision.

  64. vetdana says: Mar 11, 2011 9:16 AM

    if the union decertifies, there can be no lockout on the part of the owners–

    Not true if court rules Decert a “sham” in which case the union “relationship” is still in effect. Owners Lockout until an agreement is reached. No season..Fans upset & many will rebel.The rest will forgive and forget when 2012 season begins. I will be out working in the garage.

  65. drumzan says: Mar 11, 2011 9:25 AM

    WWCSD? What Would Charlie Sheen Do…

  66. stanklepoot says: Mar 11, 2011 9:52 AM

    eaglebobby says: Mar 11, 2011 8:18 AM

    There’s a couple of things we’re overlooking here–if the union decertifies, there can be no lockout on the part of the owners–because there wouldn’t be any union members to lock out. So if the NFLPA cries to Doty that they’ve been locked out, I’m not sure they’d win, since they made the move to dissolve.
    _______________________
    Actually, you have it reversed. The only way there could be an injunction against a lockout is if the union decertifies. The NFL as a whole is officially recognized as a state authorized monopoly…despite the fact that the individual teams are ruled to be separate businesses. State sanctioned monopolies are normally regulated. The NFL isn’t because the players’ union is seen as a counterweight to the league, and because the collective bargaining agreement defines the relationship between the league and the players. So, in essence, the existence of the NFLPA protects the NFL from having to deal with anti-trust regulation. If the NFLPA decertifies, and the league makes wide spread rules relating to the employees of the 32 individual teams (in this case the players), then the league opens itself up to anti-trust suits. The case is even stronger if the 32 teams collude to prevent the non-unionized players (the majority of which are already under contract to these teams) from working in their chosen profession. As for Doty, the language in his ruling on the lockout insurance issue seems to point heavily towards him favoring the player if an anti-trust case ends up in front of him. While there is no guarantee that he’d rule this way, or that the NFL wouldn’t be able to successfully appeal his ruling, the indication appears to be that the players would have the advantage in then initial round of litigation.

  67. bebopa says: Mar 11, 2011 11:02 AM

    Im an NFL fan , but life goes on. There are definitely more pressing issues.

  68. gixnic says: Mar 11, 2011 1:35 PM

    I’ve been a football fan for over 30 years but I can honestly say that football to me is not as exciting as it once was, it’s way too over saturated now. Wall to wall 24 hour freaking coverage even in the off-season is really too much. Life definitely goes on and I have better things to do in my life than to worry about a bunch of rich guys playing a game. Funny, when i used to discuss football with my friends I would say “my team”. My team? really? everytime i hear a grown person say “my team” i crack up.

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