At the tail end of a Monday appearance on ESPN2’s First Take during which Seahawks guard Chester Pitts and Seahawks defensive end Raheem Brock discussed their recent Commish crank-call video, Pitts offered the most important observation of the entire segment.
“It ends soon,” Pitts said regarding when the lockout. “Basically, one side is going to get leverage in the courts. And whichever side has leverage is going to force the hand of the other.”
Assuming that Pitts is as plugged in as he seems to be with the players’ thinking, it means that the players are going for the victory — a lifting of the lockout in court — and that if the players lose they’ll do whatever deal the loss of leverage dictates.
We hope he’s right. Our concern regarding a negotiated compromise post-leverage arises from the lack of trust between the players and the owners. Unless the currently poisonous atmosphere between the two sides has been exaggerated, it won’t be easy to work out a multi-billion-dollar contract.
As to the video in which Pitts calls Goodell “Fraudger” and asks him in Barack Obama’s voice to stop being a “douche,” Pitts said there was no “malice intent,” even though Pitts said that the video was intended to poke fun at some of the untruthful things (in the players’ assessment) the league and Goodell have said.
“I was thinking during the season I’ll probably get a lot of fines after he sees this,” Brock joked.
Pitts said he expected more people to be upset about the video, but that only five percent of the folks who reacted to it via social media had negative things to say. Pitts also shared his frustrations regarding the events that resulted in the current dispute.
“Just come out and be honest, and just say you want more money,” Pitts said. “Like, I can deal with that. I can live with that. That’s business. That’s the way the world goes. But what really bothers me and upsets me is just the untruthful and the insincerity that’s brought to a lot of the press conferences, these teleconferencing calls with fans, just the interviews, that’s what kind of irks me and gets me upset. That’s what I’m responding to.”
For starters, the league has never said that it doesn’t want more money. From the get-go, the league asked for another $1 billion off the top before the money is shared by the players and the teams.
As to allegations of untruthfulness and insincerity, some may wonder whether Pitts is referring to Goodell, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith, or both.