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George Martin describes his meeting with NFLPA* as “defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful”

George Martin AP

NFL Alumni president George Martin put a happy public face on his recent meeting with the NFLPA*.

Privately, he’s singing a much different tune.

In a memo to the group’s Board of Directors and its 32 chapter heads, a copy of which PFT has obtained, Martin said the “atmosphere was very defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful.”

Uh-oh.

Also, Martin said he still has not received a private meeting the head of the decertified players’ union.

“Regrettably, the long awaited and greatly anticipated one on one meeting with Mr. DeMaurice Smith never materialized as I had hoped,” Martin wrote.  “Although he was present during my two hour interrogation, no accommodation of my request for the private meeting was ever addressed.”

Martin had a much better experience with the NFL, according to the memo.

“On Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure of addressing NFL owners, executive staff, and head coaches as the NFL Annual Meetings,” Martin said.  “The genuine support and enthusiasm for our organization exhibited by these distinguished individuals was both exciting and overwhelming.”

The players apparently suspect that Martin and his group are shills for the NFL.  If they weren’t before this past week, they may be inclined to be now.

Really, if the players are going to treat Martin and the group he runs as the enemy, why shouldn’t Martin and NFL Alumni respond in kind?  At some point, it’s the only logical move.

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85 Responses to “George Martin describes his meeting with NFLPA* as “defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful””
  1. texasphinsfan says: Mar 26, 2011 11:39 AM

    :facepalm:

    If the NFLPA didn’t decertify for strategic purposes, they would have had to due to lack of credibility.

  2. handlethehandles says: Mar 26, 2011 11:39 AM

    in one corner you have people raised wealthy, now have wealth and own nfl teams…

    In the other corner you have spoiled poor kids who got paid, who have been raising there middle finger to everyone with less then them and pulling lines like ” Dont you know who I am to the police..”

    In truth I hope the owners hold out, I can miss some Sundays… Just teach these players something about gift horses.. and maybe make them learn about slavery…

    Time to stop kissing the players butts.. We are fans of the sport not the rich Deion complexion all of them seem to have…

  3. hobartbaker says: Mar 26, 2011 11:40 AM

    Big George is prevented from meeting Little Mo “in private” by that darn restraining order.

  4. Rod says: Mar 26, 2011 11:41 AM

    It was funnier the other way.

  5. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 26, 2011 11:42 AM

    Gee. I guess we know which group has more class.

    Like it was ever a secret.

  6. paulitik74 says: Mar 26, 2011 11:48 AM

    That’s unfortunate. It doesn’t surprise me that the NFL has been receptive to the Alumni. They know their goose is cooked in court, and need any ally they can get to regain some leverage.

    I understand why the NFLPA may be suspicious, and why they can’t meet with Smith, but that doesn’t excuse disrespect to the men who paved the way for where they are.

    Disappointing.

  7. vahawker says: Mar 26, 2011 11:52 AM

    The stupidity rushing out of the DeIdiot and his Merry Band of Morons never ceases to amaze me.

  8. citizenstrange says: Mar 26, 2011 11:53 AM

    “The genuine support and enthusiasm for our organization exhibited by these distinguished individuals was both exciting and overwhelming.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You know the NFL owners could just fund the NFL Alumni five billion dollars or whatever they want to if there is really this incredible lovefest between the two.

    There is nothing stopping them but their own greed. As always the easiest thing to do in the world is to talk the talk.

  9. simplesimon1 says: Mar 26, 2011 11:54 AM

    We already knew who had more class in this argument, this just helps solidify it. I have no sympathy for either side. I’m strongly considering watching the CFL, college ball and the UFL instead, even if a deal gets done. At least in those sports it’s actually for the love of the game, not money.

    My time with a league that has rules that are pathetic (like the tuck rule, the Calvin Johnson rule, etc) and the ability to use these interpretations to decide games is almost coming to an end. I don’t care that NFL players are the best athletes of the football leagues in North America. Cameron Wake did pretty decent in the NFL last year and he wasn’t even the best the CFL had to offer.

    At least you can still hit in the CFL, college and the UFL. NFL, the longer this lasts, the longer hardcore supporters such as myself will legitimately never be coming back. I’m almost there and I’m sure there’s manhy more like me.

    And to think, I’m a big enough fan, as are my friends, that we spend huge amounts of money for hotels, travel and tickets to come down from Canada (drive 18 hours) to see teams play. If I’m saying this, many more are. Pathetic that money has come to this.

  10. flyerscup2010 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:04 PM

    These comments make me laugh because I feel like the (alleged) behavior (or apparent lack thereof) of DeMaurice Smith has nothing to do with and is not an accurate reflection of the players (who weren’t at the meeting I’m assuming) being “spoiled brats” or “unclassy”. In fact, it has nothing to do with the people who were “raised rich” being the group that has “more class” either.

  11. jcrileyesq says: Mar 26, 2011 12:06 PM

    my only question is when George Martin and other retired players were playing how hard did they fight for retired players rights or was their focus present players of their time

  12. flyerscup2010 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:06 PM

    I feel like there’s a good chance that all of the people here accepting the word of someone who is clearly a shill for one side as unequivocal truth are people who similarly watch Fox News and don’t believe that the President was born in the United States.

  13. poweredtoast says: Mar 26, 2011 12:06 PM

    Just look at how the comments are worded – this guy is just an owner butt kisser, as he knows he is best served kissing their rear than active players. This guy is a joke.

  14. dallasc228 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:15 PM

    Another article NFLPA did not want to see.

    I thought they are fighting for the former players and health plans for all players who played in the NFL.

    It appears the current players just wants what is best for them and forget about the men who gave their all to build this game.

    I’m predicting that the new bargain agreement they will sign soon, only benefits the current players and it will only good for few years. The next generation of players will have to hold out and fight for themselves. The current NFLPA don’t really care about the game as they claim.

    Manning, Brees, Brady, Romo (and I’m a Cowboys fan), Idiot kicker from the Vikings..

    YOU all PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!

    I wonder what would these greedy players tell their sons when they asked 15 years from now why they can’t play pro football? They all better tell their sons now to become investors cause they just killed the NFL with in 10 years.

  15. nfl52 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:31 PM

    the players just want to get as much as they can over the next few years. they could care less about the players that played before. wasnt dsmith the one who was outraged that the nfl wasnt giving all this money to the players that played back in the day? now dsmith wont even hear what they have to say

    i would love to see one person on dsmiths side. i understand some back the players but dsmith is a scumbag, and he has the most annoying face in the world.

  16. footballfanatic2010 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:32 PM

    I despise every player that has opened his mouth concerning the work stoppage(except Antonio Cromartie). They’re a classic union…demand everything(more money, more benefits, less work), and play the disrespect card at every turn. If you try and tell them they’re being disrespectful…oh no…of course that’s not true…they’re fighting for the future.

    These players can go to Hell for all I care…this extended labor battle is killing football for me.

  17. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:43 PM

    This behavior by the current players and their reps should come as no surprise to anyone…. its how these guys roll. The current players could not care less about anyone but themselves…..unpresidented greed on display. If it meant getting more money for themselves they would stiff the retired players and give them zip zero nada if they could. How are the player worshippers on this site going to spin this one in the players favor? This isn’t the owners the current players are giving the middle finger to ….it’s former (union member) players they are disrespecting and casting aside. Guys who have contributed in making the NFL as popular as it is (was) today. And making a lot less money in the process I might add. Great job D. Smith you have managed to get the former players on the owners side too…… at a salary of $ zero your way overpaid.

  18. tombstone7 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    @jcrileyesq>>>> I know Big George and I know he supported the NFL ALums when he was playing because he had great mentors before him who reached back to help him become a professional player. Instead of being in the news for driving drunk or rape or worse, he walked across America to support the NewYork Firefighters and their families for healthcare when the government was providing barriers.

    What makes this situation sad is that everyone is posturing for the public’s perception of who is right. They should take advice from Michael Cordleone of the Godfather……”this is not personal, it’s business!” As Paul said to the Corithian church, “In business, be men!”

    OMT….has anyone ever tried “interest-based bargaining? They are fighting over an orange on the table because they want the orange for different purposes……there’s a win-win there if anyone’s listening!!!!!

  19. monkeesfan says: Mar 26, 2011 12:57 PM

    The NFLPA* has done nothing in the two years DeMaurice Smith has been in charge but be defiant, accusatory, and downright disrespectful.

    http://www.spectator.org/archives/2009/10/15/who-is-demaurice-smith

  20. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 12:58 PM

    poweredtoast says:
    Mar 26, 2011 12:06 PM
    Just look at how the comments are worded – this guy is just an owner butt kisser, as he knows he is best served kissing their rear than active players. This guy is a joke.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    @ poweredtoast

    Your comments are the joke. George Martin and all the other retired players deserve better than that.

  21. melikefootball says: Mar 26, 2011 1:04 PM

    More and more the NFL players and their reps are looking somewhat punky in there words and actions. We are fans not stupid, this reminds me of autographs sessions where the players want outrages prices to sign something and yet out of the other side of mouth we care about the fans. They may be important to the game but players come and go , how will they be remembered is up to the fans.

  22. aldavisisthenfl says: Mar 26, 2011 1:05 PM

    Good Lord! why would George even waste his time with the NFLPA?

    Anyone with the smallest shred of intelligence knows that whatever piece/sliver of the pie the former players get will have to come from the owner’s pie then transferred to the player’s pie to make it look like the current palyers care………

    sheesh! the owners and their invested billions are the meal ticket here, don’t let the small minded union sheep convince you any differently…….

  23. snnyjcbs says: Mar 26, 2011 1:10 PM

    Cannot the owners use these types of things in Court to prove that the break up of the Union was just a shame and a ploy?

    All that has happened since the Union break up is that the one on one meetings with the owners have stopped. The Union is still operating as the players reps and are steering the players.

    I hope the Court lets the lock out stand and I hope the Retired Players stick it up the Unions rears. They care nothing about the Retired Players.

  24. SpaceJam says: Mar 26, 2011 1:12 PM

    Translation: “The NFL kissed my a$$, and I was stupid enough to believe they did it out of respect.” — George Martin

    The tragic thing is, the owners are so much better at P.R. that they’ve somehow managed to make the players look like the bad guys.

    If memory serves, it was the owners that opted out of the CBA, starting this whole mess.

    And the owners were the ones who set up billions in lockout insurance in the last TV deal, then had the brass ones to claim that the players weren’t negotiating in good faith.

    Their reason for opting out was that they were supposedly losing money. They haven’t offered any proof of that. But hey, why shouldn’t the players believe them? (Except for the whole lockout-insurance thing…)

    I get why people don’t like unions (I guess), but it’s insanely clear that the owners are in the wrong on this. But they’re winning the P.R. battle in a laugher.

  25. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 1:15 PM

    Maybe if your not paying union dues anymore you just dont matter.

  26. airraid77 says: Mar 26, 2011 1:35 PM

    anybody who thinks the owners are sunk in court? have another thing coming….There is no way a buisness can be forced to run against its will.Even if the liberal judge is going side with the players, their constitutional questions every where in every decision…..which means a 5-4 decision in favor of owners.

  27. backindasaddle says: Mar 26, 2011 1:37 PM

    The union doesn’t want him, like him, or want anything to do with him or the retired veterans he represents. Why????…..Because there is no $$$ or power to be gained. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There can only $$$ given out and power usurped from the union.

    This should be of no surprise to anybody who understands and deals with unions. They care not one little bit for the veterans. Union mentality and doctrine is very simple…$more$more$more for less productivity. It’s all they do and it’s all they care about. Anything else just gets in their way.

  28. handlethehandles says: Mar 26, 2011 1:40 PM

    flyerscup2010 says:
    Mar 26, 2011 12:04 PM
    These comments make me laugh because I feel like the (alleged) behavior (or apparent lack thereof) of DeMaurice Smith has nothing to do with and is not an accurate reflection of the players (who weren’t at the meeting I’m assuming) being “spoiled brats” or “unclassy”. In fact, it has nothing to do with the people who were “raised rich” being the group that has “more class” either.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    why even come on here and type… Do me a favor dont make a point that you are assuming… Where the players there maybe maybe not… Do me a favor STFU… Fans like you kiss the asses of theese players and for what.. What… Nothing there are over 100 examples of these mornic players making terrible terrible decisions that most people would spend there whole life figuring out and these guys want to make them go away in weeks or in a year… Vick, Rothles, Stallworth, come one dude they are poor spoiled kids who got everything they ever wanted there whole life. Why do you think they say things like ” Do you know who I am” Dont blame unions blame the bling they wear and the lawyers they hire who tell them they are being treated like slaves!!!! And you should think about the concession stand workers and all the ushers… So lets go on a strike and hold out…

  29. tedknight40 says: Mar 26, 2011 1:44 PM

    At some point….dont most ACTIVE players become ALUMNI? Just a thought.

    It amazes me that the NFLPA* wouldnt work with the NFL Alumni to help use it as a vehicle to help support current ACTIVE players after their career is over.

    Just seems too much like right.

  30. hobartbaker says: Mar 26, 2011 1:47 PM

    The loose connection of jerks and idiots formerly known as the NFLPA declined a sit down meeting between George Martin and De Smith. Out of concern that Big George might accidently sit on the little ground rodent.

  31. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 1:53 PM

    backindasaddle says:
    Mar 26, 2011 1:37 PM
    The union doesn’t want him, like him, or want anything to do with him or the retired veterans he represents. Why????…..Because there is no $$$ or power to be gained. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There can only $$$ given out and power usurped from the union.

    This should be of no surprise to anybody who understands and deals with unions. They care not one little bit for the veterans. Union mentality and doctrine is very simple…$more$more$more for less productivity. It’s all they do and it’s all they care about. Anything else just gets in their way.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @backindasaddle

    Very well said (standing ovation & loud clapping)

  32. nfl52 says: Mar 26, 2011 2:05 PM

    i get the feeling that some people on this site that back the players feel that the players are being treated unfairly, but then there are another portion of them that feel that if their favorite player only knew how much they loved them and how they were their biggest fan, that the player would give a damn about them.

    trust me these players could care less about you. just as the woners could care less. i back the owners cuz i feel its in their right to opt out of the deal and negotiate a new one. players these days think they are untouchable and that they are entitled to whateve they want.

  33. fracas106 says: Mar 26, 2011 3:01 PM

    nfl52 says “i would love to see one person on dsmiths side. i understand some back the players but dsmith is a scumbag, and he has the most annoying face in the world.”
    I am on De Smith’s side. He was hired by the players to be their leader and spokesperson–and that’s what he does. As for his being a “scumbag”, I guess it takes one to know one, right?
    The NFL Alumni is funded 110% by the owners and used to have a bunch of golf tournaments. Never has the group done anything to assist former players in need. George Martin way back was president of the NFLPA, needed a job and was hired by the owners to put a face on the Alumni who could ostensibly have some credibility with players. Instead, he’s just a shill for the owners.
    Given the absolute hatred towards players by the so-called “fans” here, when the season starts–and it will, with or without a CBA–don’t expect those same players to be friendly to you guys.

  34. airraid77 says: Mar 26, 2011 3:09 PM

    those of you against the rich, need to understand that if they, whoever they are, are allowed to do it the owners of the nfl, coorperations, small buisness owners…ect…ect..ect…..they can and they eventually will do it to you.
    You advocateds of the attitude from the top and limiting the rich and their excesses are playing a dangerous game.

  35. dan39564 says: Mar 26, 2011 3:15 PM

    Remember the head of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, is a Lawyer. It’s all about EGO with him, respect and courtesy come second!

  36. goodjet says: Mar 26, 2011 3:29 PM

    Anyone who thinks this DeMaurice Smith guy cares about anything except DeMaurice Smith just really has to be hallucinating ——- Of course I’m not trying to put down — you know — hallucinating

  37. nfl52 says: Mar 26, 2011 4:01 PM

    fracas106

    do you really think the majority of people care what the players think of us? sounds like you care if the cool kids think your cool.

    i support my team. i like the players on my team. but they come and go, i am more worried to lose the coach of my team, than i am worried about losing a certain player.

    the fact that you said, “Given the absolute hatred towards players by the so-called “fans” here, when the season starts–and it will, with or without a CBA–don’t expect those same players to be friendly to you guys”, makes you sound like a little kid. the rest of your post didnt sounds that way, but acting like we care if they are friendly to us is strange. maybe i went a little far with the scumbag thing, i dont even know him. but he does bother me

  38. jimmysee says: Mar 26, 2011 4:18 PM

    The players union apparently never heard you are supposed to respect your elders.

    It’s almost one of the 10 Commandments.

    The union is doing a great job of yielding the moral high ground.

    Public perception and opinion will play a big role in how this-all is settled. And in that theater, the players are losing big time.

  39. realfann says: Mar 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    Jurry Jones has class?

    Players greedy when they’ve NOT asked for a pay raise but have offered up a pay CUT?

    Owners winning the PR war when 70% of the fans are on the players side?

    Owners going broke when NFL is getting record revenue?

    Interns out in force today.

  40. blantoncollier says: Mar 26, 2011 4:40 PM

    There is no way DeeSmith is going to pay attention to George Martin. Martin has something Smith doesn’t–CREDIBILITY.

    Martin was a players rep and a NFLPA Exec. Committee Member. He not only talked the talk he walked the walk.

    Martin has stayed in the game, representing those that came before him. Making sure the Alumni get benefits for fighting the fights to make the game great.

    George Martin cares about the NFL and its future and its past.

    DeeSmith cares about breaking up the game and league Martin loves.

  41. TxGrown says: Mar 26, 2011 5:24 PM

    @fracas106…..
    “Given the absolute hatred towards players by the so-called “fans” here, when the season starts–and it will, with or without a CBA–don’t expect those same players to be friendly to you guys.”
    ———————————————
    Remember they are NOTHING without us “guys’.

  42. endzonezombie says: Mar 26, 2011 6:00 PM

    The benefits for retired players are funded by the NFL, not the players. The retired players expect a players union to fight for their pensions because the NFL itself will not voluntarily provide the retirees the benefits they seek. It seems like Martin is biting the hand that he wants to support him for expanded benefits. If he can make a deal directly with the NFL for retired players, let him do so and leave the players union out of it. Martin looks stupid for attempting to complicate the current negotiating process, and the current players have a right to be annoyed with such interference.

  43. airraid77 says: Mar 26, 2011 6:02 PM

    realfann,
    which poll are you looking at? whats the obama line? this is why we have elections? 70 pct voted against unions, class warfare, and the rest of the left agenda……2010 november…..”this is why we have elections”

  44. realfann says: Mar 26, 2011 6:07 PM

    Pensioned workers are the responsibility of owners in most businesses.

    Aren’t they?

    Certainly are in mine.

    Not the current workers (players).

  45. endzonezombie says: Mar 26, 2011 6:08 PM

    @handlethehandles: “So lets go on a strike and hold out…”

    “let’s go on strike”? You have been such an obvious league shill on this forum that I wonder if you work in a team front office or the league office. You are one of the phony fans who will disappear once the two sides reach an agreement. Your owner-pimping won’t be needed anymore. It makes no sense to tell you to STFU cos you are paid to crap on the players who are the backbone of the NFL.

  46. realfann says: Mar 26, 2011 6:09 PM

    @blantoncollier

    I’m betting you never heard of George Martin before reading this article.

  47. fishbone80 says: Mar 26, 2011 6:20 PM

    Players should remember that at some point THEY ALL BECOME ALUMNI!

  48. tcdun says: Mar 26, 2011 6:24 PM

    How much do we all miss Gene Upshaw’s class ? Smith can’t hold Gene Upshaw’s jock ! Wait a minute,Smith was never even a part of the NFL,no wonder a scumbag lawyer like him doesn’t care about the players,old ot current,he just cares about trying to make a name for himself !
    I bet the players are starting to feel really sick about their vote that went for Smith,just like the American people are feeling sick if they cast their vote for that scumbag Obama !

  49. thefiesty1 says: Mar 26, 2011 6:31 PM

    That’s what the NFLPA is. Arrogant jerks. It’s all about me, me, me. They want it ALL!

  50. commandercornpone says: Mar 26, 2011 6:44 PM

    capo gino insulted former players, didnt do jack for them, kept his own agent (tom condon) on the retirees compensation board (conflict of interest, anyone?), and threatend to break joe de lamieulleure’s neck. as if he could.

    but duh has taken it to a new level. downward. duh is about going to court, and hell he is unemployed. he should be out of the picture.

    decert = sham.

    time for those “oakley-ewing moments”.

  51. Deb says: Mar 26, 2011 6:57 PM

    The players apparently suspect that Martin and his group are shills for the NFL.

    Gee, wonder why? :roll:

  52. airraid77 says: Mar 26, 2011 7:12 PM

    Nobody owes anybody a retirement….its a gift some decide to give…..but its not a right. Nobody pays x employees to do nothing………their is a reason you need 20 years in most places.

  53. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 7:13 PM

    realfann says: Mar 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    Jurry Jones has class?

    Players greedy when they’ve NOT asked for a pay raise but have offered up a pay CUT?

    Owners winning the PR war when 70% of the fans are on the players side?

    Owners going broke when NFL is getting record revenue?

    Interns out in force today.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ realfann

    Let me address your propaganda points:

    1) Jerry Jones- He’s a very successful businessman that owns a (almost professional) football team. To my knowledge he has not recently been arrested for carrying a gun, assaulting his baby mama or for possessing purple drank, so yes I guess he does have some class, as hard as it is for me to admit it. (I’m not a fan of his but I do respect his accomplishments)
    2) Players not wanting a raise- Correct, sort of… The players would be happy to keep the deal the owners opted out of since it overwhelmingly favors them financially.
    3)Fan Support- 70% of the fans support the players…..ummmm not true you made that up. It does seem that the fan support for the owners position does increase every time a rogue player speaks out or is put in handcuffs.
    4) Owners going broke- You made that up too, the owners never said they are going broke. They simply opted out of a CBA they say is financially unsustainable going forward. When the CBA was agreed to in (2004)? 2011 was a long way off and unfortunately the economy was in much better shape.

  54. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 7:43 PM

    realfann says: Mar 26, 2011 6:07 PM

    Pensioned workers are the responsibility of owners in most businesses.

    Aren’t they?

    Certainly are in mine.

    Not the current workers (players).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ realfann

    Other player schills such as yourself have said we couldn’t compare the NFLPA pay and benefits with workers in the “real world”. Can’t have it both ways. The players should provide their own retirement benefits….. subsidized by current NFLPA dues. WINNING!!!!!!!

  55. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 7:47 PM

    Deb says: Mar 26, 2011 6:57 PM

    The players apparently suspect that Martin and his group are shills for the NFL.

    Gee, wonder why? :roll:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ Deb

    Don’t worry Deb your a much bigger player shill than Martin

  56. tatum064 says: Mar 26, 2011 8:46 PM

    You know the NFL owners could just fund the NFL Alumni five billion dollars or whatever they want to if there is really this incredible lovefest between the two.

    There is nothing stopping them but their own greed. As always the easiest thing to do in the world is to talk the talk.
    ===============================
    Absolutely right. Players are entitled given the risk they take. For every George Martin that has “paved the way” there have been homeless players, Dave Duerson’s and multiple players that didnt get the benefits that Martin supposedly fought for.

  57. gridassassin says: Mar 26, 2011 9:01 PM

    The NFL has done more for these former players than the NFLPA will ever do:

    http://www.nflalumni.org/ArticleDetails/tabid/94/ArticleID/86/Default.aspx

    Visit their website once in awhile, and never forget that Dave Duerson sat on the NFLPA board denying former players DISABILITY. The same Dave Duerson that the NFLPA continues to bring up in these negotiations.

  58. southmo says: Mar 26, 2011 9:21 PM

    Keep in mind, Martin’s negative comments toward the union were in a PRIVATE memo that was “obtained.”

    His public comments were positive. Of course, in a vain effort to make excuses for the NFLPA, folks are accusing Martin of all sorts of ulterior motives and accusing many of us of being “plants.” lol

    You know, somewhere along the way, reality will hit you, but enjoy the dream.

  59. southmo says: Mar 26, 2011 9:30 PM

    Players are entitled given the risk they take. For every George Martin that has “paved the way” there have been homeless players, Dave Duerson’s and multiple players that didnt get the benefits that Martin supposedly fought for.

    ————

    Really. First slavery, now homeless?

    Soooo…. if players are “entitled” (love that word) GIVEN the risk they take….

    Then why don’t firefighters get 300,000 minimum salaries? I mean, if the “risk” is the reason?

  60. irchs1963 says: Mar 26, 2011 10:10 PM

    The current “new era” players owe so much to the “old school” players….. for it was they who paved the way for the modern NFL and its riches. Many of the former players needed a secondary job to survive and provide for their families, a far cry from the ‘spoiled’ athletes playing the game today.

  61. airraid77 says: Mar 26, 2011 10:14 PM

    where is it law that your employer is obligated to take of you after you quit working for him?

  62. Deb says: Mar 26, 2011 10:47 PM

    @southmo …

    When PFT was suddenly bombarded by pro-owner commenters within 48 hours of decertification, I began conducting searches on unfamiliar usernames … like yours. I’m not saying you and the other pro-owner newbies are plants. I’m saying you all started posting at the same time and only post on the labor issue.

    Among other things, being realistic means recognizing that billions of dollars can buy a lot of propaganda. I don’t need to make excuses for the NFLPA; I simply feel the players are in the right. As for Martin, what a man says privately is his truth.

  63. airraid77 says: Mar 27, 2011 12:01 AM

    deb, your reasoning for why the players are right is lousy.
    If i drag out your entitlement theory? where does it end? Where the entitlement end? When the rich arent rich? You think they will stop when they have ceased all wealth? Am i entitled to keep my house if I dont pay the mortgage? are the muslim practicing shari law entitled to practice their laws?
    WHERE DOES IT END?
    The retirees are neither parties responsibility.

  64. Deb says: Mar 27, 2011 12:56 PM

    @airraid77 …

    Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea what you’re ranting about. You haven’t made any reference to my reasoning for why the players are right. I do not have an “entitlement theory” for you to drag out. Muslim shari law? What on earth does you not paying your mortgage have to do with a collective bargaining agreement between NFL owners and players?

  65. Deb says: Mar 27, 2011 1:01 PM

    @elrushbo2 …

    Why thank you! I’m more than happy to shill for the players. But let’s make clear that, unlike you, I’ve been posting on this site for two years and comment on all sorts of issues. PFT/CFT regulars know my team allegiances; I didn’t just show up in the last couple of weeks to post on the labor situation. The players don’t have to pay for my support. I’m posting according to my conscience … not the teachings of my radio mentor ;)

  66. airraid77 says: Mar 27, 2011 1:43 PM

    why are former or soon to be former nfl players entitled to health care from the nfl? because they worked in the nfl? Why should they be given anything?
    they signed a contract and got what they signed up for?
    The players agreed that either side could back out in the 2006 cba agreement. The owners, the ones who have all the real money, have every right to protect and make money JUST LIKE THE PLAYERS have a right to go out get as much as they can.
    My whole point about the alumni thinking they have any right to ask for anything is that if draw out to its logical conclusion, anybody and everybody is entitled to whatever they want………think about it.

  67. Deb says: Mar 27, 2011 4:10 PM

    @airraid77 …

    You’re confusing the NFL’s employment model with entitlement programs; they’re separate issues. Many organizations, including civil service, provide pensions and lifetime healthcare for former employees. It’s not a unique situation for NFL athletes. And those aren’t entitlement programs, but agreed-upon employee benefits.

    But the NFL is not a typical employee/employer relationship. In this case, the players are both workers and the product. It’s like the relationship between authors and publishers. The publisher pays all the costs associated with bringing a book to the public. The writer receives a portion of revenues. The owners pay all the costs of bringing games to the public, and the players receive a portion of revenues. The players’ portion is used to pay their salaries, pensions, health benefits, and benefits to retired players.

    Because of their highly specialized skill set, the league can’t operate without the players. That’s why they are able to negotiate a high percentage of revenues. In a capitalist society, you earn according to the revenue you generate. That’s not entitlement; it’s a free-market economy.

    You can argue that owners can simply replace these players with other willing players. But if owners thought players were that easily replaced, they wouldn’t have bid their salaries to the current level. Remember, although the union negotiated the total revenue cut for players, the teams negotiated individual player salaries.

    No one forced the Colts or the Pats to give so much money to Manning or Brady. That was their choice. In fact, in the early years of free agency, it was owners like Jerry Jones and Paul Allen who chose to skirt the salary cap by paying out huge cash bonuses other owners couldn’t afford to give. They are the ones responsible for growing individual player salaries at such a rapid pace.

    In addition to retiree pensions and health care being an agreed-upon benefit, the NFL owners owe that to former players. The league built its fortune by exploiting those players who were not paid according to the revenue they generated. Prior to last 15 years, most players were used until they could no longer perform, then dumped with little to show for their careers. Often they were drugged to keep them on the field when injured and wound up crippled as a result. The league owes a debt to those players.

    Yes, the owners inserted a two-year opt-out clause into the previous CBA, and the players compromised by agreeing to it. The owners chose to exercise that clause. Now both sides have to compromise to reach a new agreement. I’ve been following the negotiations a long time and believe the owners have talked a good game but have not negotiated in good faith. Some of the proposals they’ve presented to the public sound better on paper than they are in practicality.

    No matter what anyone here says, they did not have to lockout the league when the players decertified. They could have continued negotiating with a committee of player reps or with the players’ trade association. Instead, they chose a D-Day scenario. Now it will be more difficult to reach an agreement, but it can be done–especially if the players win their injunction against the lockout. I believe then the owners may be motivated to return to the table.

  68. fracas106 says: Mar 27, 2011 5:18 PM

    There are NO entitlements in the NFL. None. Whatever post-career benefits players have came only after direct confrontations with owners. Before the union existed, players had NO pensions, NO health care during and after careers, NO pre-season or post-season pay, NO grievance procedures, were cut if they were injured during the season–and when contracts expired were unable to sign with another team (or, if they were playing in an option year, earned 90% of what they made the year before).
    Current benefits advanced only after players confronted owners in 1982, 1987 and in renegotiations of the expired CBA. The battle between Upshaw and league shills such as Mike Ditka and his ilk had at its core the fact that Ditka and his peers never ever faced off against owners and meekly accepted whatever the owners put on the bargaining table–and those meager benefits were totally linked to the owners losing a series of major antitrust cases which forced them, the owners, to make offers in order to qualify from the labor-antitrust exemption.
    During the 1989-1992 Plan B period, players received no major benefits–even though owners who tried to keep up the guise that the union had not decertified then (just as now) did not cut all benefits. That will happen again during this current strife.
    As for current players not doing anything for former ones–and especially those of the Ditka era–that’s total b.s.; more than $200-million of current player allocations were switched from salaries to benefits.
    Meanwhile, try to find out how much NFL Alumni on their own have provided former players. It ain’t much.

  69. airraid77 says: Mar 27, 2011 5:39 PM

    NOR DID THE UNION HAVE TO DECERTIFY…..i would like to see official proposals that you claim to have read so carefully….And again…..the players have a right to get everything they can get…..and the owners have the right to keep everything the think is necessary to run their buisness…capitalism…..their is no lockout if their is no decertification.
    The players didnt have guns to their heads to play……The players chose to play……do not pawn the players decisions off on other people…the players knew the risk…………and the players agreeed those cba as well….nice try.
    Most jobs require you to be at a job for 20 years to get a pension….and look at ford, chrysler, california, michigan, NY….YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO PAY PEOPLE who no longer produce….their is no excuse for x players who knew and have known what lies ahead in their days after football…….again nobody held a gun to their head….much like nobody held a gun to their head to take the contract offered by the owner or to the owners to offer those contracts.

  70. airraid77 says: Mar 27, 2011 5:42 PM

    ” The league built its fortune by exploiting those players who were not paid according to the revenue they generated. Prior to last 15 years, most players were used until they could no longer perform, then dumped with little to show for their careers. Often they were drugged to keep them on the field when injured and wound up crippled as a result. The league owes a debt to those players.”

    you try to say its not entitlements your talking about, but its right their for everybody to read.
    The players agreed in cba agreements and in contracts the terms for which they gave their labor…..THE OWNERS OWE THEM NOTHING BEYOND THAT.

  71. nfl52 says: Mar 27, 2011 5:54 PM

    deb u sound very smart but your the only person i have ever heard say that the owners caused the lockout. some say the onwers caused it because they opted out, ok i understand that side. but you are saying it like the owners didnt have to lock out after the players decertified.

    why did the players decertify? do you agree that the players stopped negotiations? was there anyone in this world that thought negotiations would continue after the players decertified?

    i have no problem with you backing the players but the part where you say the owners are stopping football doesnt make sense to me, unless u say that they did it by opting out. they had no chioce after the players decertified

    you actually seem to have thought this through. some players backers seem like they just are in love wit the players so they back them and go crazy that people back the owners

  72. fracas106 says: Mar 27, 2011 7:18 PM

    nfl52 writes “but your the only person i have ever heard say that the owners caused the lockout. some say the onwers caused it because they opted out, ok i understand that side. but you are saying it like the owners didnt have to lock out after the players decertified.”
    WRONG AGAIN! Once the union no long is the bargaining agent for players, labor law no longer prevails and the specific labor-antitrust exemption which allows unions to bargain away anti-competitive practices by management no longer exists.
    That means that owners are vulnerable to antitrust actions pertaining to the draft, the free agency system and manner in which certain revenues are equally divided between teams. And that’s why (1) the new antitrust suits were filed immediately after decertification happened and (2) why the owners were forced to lock-out. Remember that under antitrust law, if damages are awarded they are trebled; $500-million damages becomes $1.5-billion.

  73. nfl52 says: Mar 27, 2011 8:59 PM

    fracas106,

    so when the players decertified why did everyone on the planet say the owners were going to lock out? but if i am wrong, why do you say, “And that’s why the owners were forced to lock-out”

    isnt that exactly what i am saying?

    also you said WRONG AGAIN, when was the first time i was wrong?

  74. Deb says: Mar 27, 2011 9:37 PM

    @airraid77 …

    In that reference I was talking about the last proposal made by the owners prior to decertification. Mike has posted it here. If you want to see it, run a PFT search or click on tags related to the labor dispute. Otherwise, I can’t take you back in time so you can read all the sports articles you skipped since the last CBA negotiation until the moment players decertified two weeks ago.

    Again, in referring to auto workers, you are referring to a different business model to the NFL. Unskilled labor is easily replaced. Elite athletes are not. Today’s game would not exist without these elite athletes. That is what puts them in a unique bargaining position.

    In one sentence you argue that players are entitled to whatever they can negotiate. In the next you rant about them receiving pensions when they haven’t put in 20 years. NFL employees have negotiated the terms of their pensions, so they are entitled to what they’ve negotiated–and that isn’t even in dispute so why keep harping on it? I’m self-employed, but at my last job would have been vested in the company pension plan at five years. It’s really not that unusual for those companies still offering pensions.

    The players on whose blood, sweat, and broken bones the league was built did not have a CBA, pension plans, health benefits, or any other benefits from the NFL. Those are the players I’m saying the NFL owes a debt of gratitude. But that debt is being paid by the players. Their pensions and health care are paid from the players’ portion of the revenue pie. Read fracas106’s posts for more background on those issues.

  75. Deb says: Mar 27, 2011 10:18 PM

    @nfl52 …

    Thanks. I’ll be the first to admit labor law is outside my area of expertise. Mike is a former employment attorney and has done an excellent job trying to make sense of these issues for PFT’s readers.

    As I understand it, the existence of the union has allowed the NFL to operate with certain antitrust exemptions. Clubs can hold a draft and engage in other activities as a unit without fearing antitrust suits. But the NFL also could cease operations once the existing collective bargaining agreement expired. They could “lock out” the players and shut down the league like a kind of reverse strike to force the players to agree to their terms.

    The only way players could combat this strategy was to decertify the union so the NFL would lose its antitrust exemptions. If 32 individual businesses cease operations in order to fix worker salaries, that’s collusion.

    When the first deadline approached, it seemed both parties were close to an agreement, so they extended. Then the owners waited until the end of the extension before presenting their amended proposal. Players felt it went backward from the previous discussions and thought the owners were not bargaining in good faith. So they decertified before the next deadline. Then the owners imposed the lockout.

    Because the players decertified, they were able to file for an injunction to stop the lockout and file antitrust suits against the league. The injunction hearing begins April 6. If the injunction is granted, the owners will have to resume the season pending the outcome of the antitrust suits.

    Long before we reached this point, the owners hired Bob Batterman, the attorney who managed the NHL’s lockout to lead their team, which suggests they intended to lock out the players all along. They wasted a lot of time refusing to negotiate in the months prior to decertification, and made a critical error by putting forward a last-minute proposal that went backward from their previous position. They didn’t have to impose the lockout but could have moved forward without the union. I just feel they have been more focused on playing hardball than working out an agreement.

  76. airraid77 says: Mar 27, 2011 10:55 PM

    thats not the owners problem then. if the players dont want to pay for their own pensions, the owners certainly do not have to….NOR ARE THEY OBLIGATED TO.
    As to the commodities being easily replaced? I will tell you how easy it is? The nfl declare bankruptcy, shuts down for two years or three, you pick and comeback as something with their own by-laws and no union……
    YOu act as though their are plenty of billionaires willing to pay those salaries……the owners themselves are a rare breed….their is no other league anywhere in the world that can offer the players the salaries they are being paid. AND THAT IS BECAUSE THEIR IS NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE THAT fork over that money.
    And their aint 32 stadiums to be built.

  77. nfl52 says: Mar 28, 2011 1:37 PM

    deb,

    i get your point and i am sure you are right when you say the owners are playing hard ball. but i would be playing hard ball too. its a lot of money and i promise you the players are playing hard ball as well. i really have no problem with the players making a lot of money. but the owners deserve the right to chnage the current agreement. just as the players would be allowed to do it. this is the way i look at it:

    lets say you and ur boss made a deal to pay you 25% of the profit. you guys both agree that if it is not working out for either party that a few years down the line anyone of you can opt out and ask for a new agreement. why cant either party opt out?

    i understand if you belive the players should make as much money as they can. but i think the owners should have the right to opt out. i have no idea what is a fair amount of $ to go to each side, so i wont pretend to know that.

  78. nfl52 says: Mar 28, 2011 1:40 PM

    also if the players opted out, would you be mad at them? just wodnering. truthfully i would still be on the owners side just cuz i think they should run the show, as long as they are being fair. but i wouldnt have a problem with the players opting out of the deal. none of these deals last forever

  79. Deb says: Mar 28, 2011 5:11 PM

    Can’t think of any earthly reason that the following posts were censored … unless you guys are trying to reach a quota of censored posts. We’re having a civil conversation and I’m simply answering the questions put to me :roll:

  80. Deb says: Mar 28, 2011 5:12 PM

    @airraid77 …

    Those 32 stadiums are largely built with taxpayer money and owners clean up on revenues from those stadiums, which bring in money from much more than football. And they don’t share those revenues with players. Yes, there are other leagues that pay like the NFL. Try the NBA and MLB. And if the league wants to shut down for a few years, doing the owners out of their billions in television, stadium, and merchandising revenues, I guess that’s their call. Usually businesses, not current employees provide pensions to former employeers.

    Again, make up your mind. On the one hand, you think both sides are entitled to whatever they can negotiate. On the other, you resent everything players have negotiated. The current CBA fell apart because the owners wanted more. That’s not under dispute.

  81. Deb says: Mar 28, 2011 5:14 PM

    Ohhhh, now I see. I used the old, old, old expression “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Omigoodness, well PFT readers will faint dead away at such a reference.

    Guys, seriously … don’t you feel silly censoring stuff like that? It’s embarrassing. We’re grownups trying to have a conversation on football issues. Good grief. :roll:

  82. Deb says: Mar 28, 2011 5:16 PM

    @nfl52 …

    They wouldn’t have opted out–it wasn’t in their interest. So I’d have thought they were nuts :) I don’t think the players should have agreed to the opt-out clause, but they may not have had any choice.

    A lot of my opinion is colored by how players have been treated for the life of the league. They’ve only recently started receiving compensation that was in line with what they earn for their teams and have had to fight for every foot of progress. The owners created a revenue model in the late 1980s/early 1990s without realizing how much the NFL actually stood to reap in revenues. Now they see what the players could potentially earn and they don’t like the numbers. So they want to back down on those splits. If they’d stop playing games and work with the players man-to-man, I think they could get a deal done.

    As for the historical relationship between owners and players, search online for the book North Dallas Forty. It’s crazy novel about a week in the life of one NFL player. It was written by Peter Gent, a former Cowboys wide receiver under Landry, and is based on his experiences with the Cowboys and adventures with QB Don Meredith. The book offers a look at how little power players had as recently as the 1970s. No wonder players don’t want to give up anything they’ve gained.

  83. nfl52 says: Mar 29, 2011 2:08 PM

    i know the players would never opt out of this deal. i just mean lets say the deal was different and it favored the owners and the players decided it wasnt working for them.

    the thing is i work on commission, i have since i was 19. in my most recent job i started out making 30% to 60% of the profit. it was reduced to 25% to 45%, then reduced to 15% to 35%. so i completley understand that type of stuff. obvioulsy you cant compare my $$ to the amount they make. i understand that times change and the owners have to make sure they are making enough $$.

    i dont think going back to the 70’s and 80’s is fair though. alot has changed since 1995 let alone the 70’s. i doubt in the 70’s rookies were spending 300k on jewlery, let alon then not paying for it and getting sued. these guys are not victims, i am sorry i dont buy that. in the 70’s is a differmnt story.

    everyone gets the players have difficult things they go through with their bodies, but they get paid so much money. so i guess you wouldnt want someone you care about play pro sports cuz of how they are treated?

  84. nfl52 says: Mar 29, 2011 2:12 PM

    i hope i dont sound like i hate the players. i love football and understand what a player sacrifices as far as his body. but i do not like the nba cuz they think they own the league. i love the nfl cuz it is so different. i think the league does a great job of keeping it that way.

    you think these new players are like the 70’s players. try hanging out with tehse dudes when cameras arent around. 70% are nothing like you think. you have a lot of good ones, dont get me wrong. but the players in the 70’s and 80’s are long gone.

  85. 1historian says: Apr 1, 2011 7:17 AM

    George Martin was the name of the guy who was the producer for the Beatles when they got started.

    Guess this is a different guy.

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