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De Smith won’t be present at Tuesday’s mediation


When the NFL and the players get together again on Tuesday after a three-day break in the renewed mediation effort, the man who’s leading the effort on behalf of the players won’t be present.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith will be absent due to a “family medical emergency.”

Technically, Smith isn’t required to attend.  He isn’t a named party, and there are plenty of other lawyers representing the players.  But, as a practical matter, Smith is running the show.  Without him, it will be difficult to make any real progress.

It’s unknown whether Smith will be back on Wednesday.  It’s also unknown whether anyone will be back on Wednesday.  If, as Mike Freeman of recently reported, neither side is serious about getting a deal done because each side thinks it will prevail on the motion to lift the lockout, the first order of business for Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan on Tuesday should be to press the parties to prove that they’re serious about negotiating — or to pull the plug on the process, so that Judge Susan Nelson can rule on the pending motion.

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19 Responses to “De Smith won’t be present at Tuesday’s mediation”
  1. radrntn says: Apr 18, 2011 10:15 PM

    it figures…i hope the family thing is ok, but it figures this thing is going to stall until it’s back in the courts where the players want it all along

  2. dwight123 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:16 PM

    De Smith,more Like De De De!

  3. melikefootball says: Apr 18, 2011 10:24 PM

    Maybe something will get done, with Smith gone.

  4. rtl1984 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:30 PM

    Yeah, he may not be the most liked in the NFL right now, but a family emergency is a family emergency. We’d all do the same. And I hope everything is fine.

  5. airraid77 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:31 PM

    hopefully, this is an excuse for him to excuse…aka the players kick him to the curb.

  6. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Apr 18, 2011 10:34 PM

    Hopefully the lawyers can settle this while the Chief Obstructionist is not in the room.

  7. Kave Krew says: Apr 18, 2011 10:40 PM

    Next man up – Anyone on the practice squad ready to step in?

  8. 2009kenny says: Apr 18, 2011 10:49 PM

    Hope his family situation will be ok but this is just a waste of time as te players just want this sorted out in court

  9. egls7 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:52 PM


  10. tylerdurden187 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:57 PM

    If Robert Kraft couldn’t attend because of health reasons, the NFLPA would have asked for his medical records.

  11. nightman13 says: Apr 18, 2011 11:06 PM


    The owners are more to blame for it being in the courts than the players. They weren’t ever negotiating in good faith. Lockout insurance, only one owner showing up to the first round of mediation and confrontational behavior don’t constitute good faith bargaining.

    The players only had one move for leverage and they used it. The owners had leverage coming out their asses and they were using it.

  12. thefiesty1 says: Apr 18, 2011 11:10 PM

    Good riddance! don’t come back, just go away.

  13. nflfan101 says: Apr 18, 2011 11:17 PM

    Smith walked out of the CBA negotiations. Now he is not going to attend the court ordered mediation.

    It is clear – crystal clear – that he doesn’t want to make a deal and he isn’t going to make a deal.

  14. nflpasux says: Apr 18, 2011 11:18 PM

    Smith’s “family medical emergency” is a crock. He’s just going to wait for Nelson’s decision. The man has no interest in negotiating. He has no interest in the players. His sole interest has been repeatedly demonstrated to be himself.

    This lock-out will continue until enough of the players revolt against Smith to force labor peace.

  15. bensstinkyfingers says: Apr 18, 2011 11:59 PM

    Finally, don’t be suprised if some actual progress since this C-blocker wont be there. Hopefully the medical emergency isn’t anything serious, just himseeing the proctologist to pull his head, and his pimp hat out of his arse.

  16. gosuhgo says: Apr 19, 2011 1:15 AM


  17. nceaglesfan says: Apr 19, 2011 7:08 AM

    It’s nothing but a sham. Both the owners and players are proving the have way to much money to play with. They may as well rent a room and conduct a circle jerk!!

  18. thetechnocrat says: Apr 19, 2011 8:32 AM

    good he’s worse for negotiation than the Carolina owner. he only wants his hours to go up and up.

    Here’s an idea. The owners should drop their proposal and come back with a 1/3 offer. With roughly 1920 or so players on rosters and practice squads that’s an average of $1.7+ million per player. If they can’t accept that, then send them back to the farms and ghettos to use their (mostly) fake degrees. If they even got one.

  19. chatham10 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:41 AM

    The family medical reason, is that from another source? This is not going to get done, it will be in the courts where Smith wants it and the season will be delayed and it may costs the players money but it is going to save me money.

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