In the latest round of the war of words between the NFL and its players, NFLPA* chief DeMaurice Smith invoked some Godfather-style language to explain why he places the blame for the ongoing labor fight squarely on the owners.
“We went to the mattresses the day that we decertified,” Smith told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton, via CBSLocal.com. “Not because we wanted to, because they made us do it.”
As Smith sees it, the owners have misled the players about the NFL’s finances, and as a result the players have no choice but to fight.
“The players understand the fight that they’re in,” said Smith. “Right now they don’t want to lay down and be forced to take a deal. They don’t believe that it’s fair. I can tell you that they resent being lied to. They resent being tricked. They resent the fact that the league has been found now twice to have violated the law. So those are the people that we’re inextricably tied to.”
Still, Smith insists that the players want to get back to work for those owners.
“I can tell you every player wants to play football,” Smith said. “We’ve got our guys working out by themselves. You’ve got guys down in New Orleans where Drew [Brees] brought his guys together and paid their way so that they can practice. These guys are going and keeping themselves in shape for nothing at a time where, for the first time in history, a business has actually sued not to do their business. So while our guys are probably a little edgy, to use a soft word, they want to get back to enjoying their game.”