Along with nine other NFL players, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora has applied his name to the antitrust lawsuit aimed initially at lifting the lockout and ultimately at providing the kind of leverage that can deliver a labor deal that favors the players. He attended Friday’s appellate court hearing in St. Louis, and he thereafter talked about the importance of his role.
“You can’t be a main plaintiff and put your name out there, and then go hide under a rock somewhere,” Umenyiora told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “It’s important that the players know that the guys who put their names out there are definitely behind this, and we’re going to see what happens.”
Though likely unintended, Umenyiora’s comments represent a not-so-subtle indictment of guys like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning, who gave their names to the lawsuit but who otherwise have, to borrow Osi’s words, hidden under a rock somewhere. That remark applies with the most force to the sibling of the quarterback of Umenyiora’s team; Eli Manning’s big brother actively has avoided the media for weeks, saying nothing about the situation and participating in none of the hearings or other activities.
As to Umenyiora, his boasts seem a bit misplaced, given that he has yet to participate in any of the mediation sessions. If he truly intends to take an active role in the litigation that bears his name, he needs to show up not only for the courtrooms proceedings but also for the negotiations that could lead to a resolution of the entire situation.
Still, showing up for court is more than plenty of the other named plaintiffs are doing, so Umenyiora is for now ahead of the game.