NFLPA issues statement in response to proposed leg pad rule

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NFL owners on Tuesday decided to mandate the use of knee and thigh pads as of 2013.  But the NFL realizes that these matters ultimately must be resolved via discussions with the union.

The union has issued a general, non-committal statement regarding the situation.

“Any change in working conditions is a collectively-bargained issue,” the NFLPA said in a statement posted on the union’s website.  “While the NFL is focused on one element of health and safety today, the NFLPA believes that health and safety requires a comprehensive approach and commitment.  We are engaged in and monitor many different issues, such as players’ access to medical records, prescription usage and the situation with professional football’s first responders, NFL referees.  We always look forward to meeting with the NFL to discuss any and all matters related to player health and safety.”

The message seems to be that the union doesn’t intend to address safety issues in isolation, but more broadly.  And the use of the phrase “professional football’s first responders, NFL referees” represents a not-so-subtle reference to the possibility that the NFL will lock out the game officials and replace them.

Indeed, safety entails much more than wearing knee and thigh pads, and it’s important for the union to be mindful of all potential factors and issues that could make the game more, or less, safe for the players.  For now, we can only hope that this isn’t a strategy for dragging feet regarding the issue of leg pads, in the hopes of finagling a concession simply because it’s known that the league wants to make thigh and knee pads non-optional.

26 responses to “NFLPA issues statement in response to proposed leg pad rule

  1. Isn’t it totally creepy how the owners go out and make an announcement regarding a change KNOWING that the announcement is completely meaningless since the players haven’t agreed to any changes?

  2. If the players arent going to take advantage of the safety equipment thats available to them , then dont bitch about it later on when you get a leg injury . Its as simple as that . Linebackers and receivers havent been wearing thigh , knee and hip pads for years now . Why you ask ? Because they want the uniform to be more form fitting . However , they will be the same ones trying to sue the league when their career is over because they sustained one to many knee and hip injuries . Bottom line , you cant have it both ways .

  3. since you bring it up,…how many referees have sued the league for not disclosing the dangerous atmoshpere of the game to them????

  4. Just like with the weirdly shaped helmets that reduce concussions, like the Revo, players are loath to do something that might draw scorn (or make their Fat Head look funny).

    This is why the NFL and NFLPA should mandate safety requirements. The players will not do it voluntarily. If it is mandated and everyone HAS to, they they won’t care…they’ll all look the same.

  5. The league is simply warning the kids and knows the student body representatives will want to “be involved”.

  6. I defiantly agree with the owners that legs pads should be made mandatory, but I am still at a loss at how mouth guards have not been made mandatory. Studies have shown the best piece of accessory equipment to reduce concussions are mouth guards, and many plays still chose not to wear them. If the NFLPA wants to get serious about player safety they need to mandate these types of things which are preventative instead of all the 2ndary issues.

  7. It’s amazing how the NFLPA disagrees with anything and everything the NFL does or says. I’ve managed to work for the same employer for 15 years without so much as a minor disagreement with my company.

  8. “…the NFLPA believes that health and safety requires a comprehensive approach and commitment”…which is why we approve of players ripping each other’s ACLs out, at the instrction of their defensive coordinator. It’s also why we fight every fine and suspension handed down by the Commissioner for late hits, cheap shots, or stomping on opponents.

  9. Lawyers running to the scene of the disagreement in 3…2…oh wait, they already billed a bunch of hours.

  10. I believe that tomorrow The NFL could announce that the sky is blue and grass is generally green and The NFL PA would want to conduct their own investigation as to if its really Blue, or if its more of a light blue, and what about when grass dies isnt it brown then? What about the grass at Boise State isnt it blue?

  11. canetic says: It’s amazing how the NFLPA disagrees with anything and everything the NFL does or says.

    You’re missing the point. The owners willingly entered into an agreement with the players where both sides have to agree on any changes.

    Imagine you had an agreement with a partner where any changes had to be mutually agreed upon, and then your partner started announcing things that you hadn’t agreed to. That’s precisely what the owners have done here.

    Think about what the uproar would be like if the players announced that their jerseys would now feature first and last names, all without getting the OK from the owners first. No real difference here.

  12. NFLPA wants to trade any safety issue for some sort of monetary concession. After all, it’s all about the money.

    Throw these concussion lawsuits out, judge.

  13. The use of pads for the thighs and knees is not solely to protect those areas. Some players have actually had concussions from their heads bouncing off of other players legs/knees.

  14. chocopoppy says: NFLPA wants to trade any safety issue for some sort of monetary concession. After all, it’s all about the money.

    I like how people make things up and then post them as fact.

    When have the players ever asked for money in exchange for a rule or equipment change?

    Where in the article does it say they’re asking for a monetary concession?

  15. Maybe this will get the AFL CIO to finally get rid of those cumbersome, sweaty, hard hats on construction sites. The uncomfortable steel toed boots. Not to mention those damn nuisance seat belts that beep away in your car until you fasten them up. Or for the guys biking to work, having to put on those distinctly uncool helmets that take away the feel of the wind in your hair.

  16. nflfan1 says:
    May 22, 2012 9:32 PM
    It’s getting to the point that the NFLPA would say the sky is red if the NFL said the sky was blue.

    The color of the sky is effected by the gas in the atmosphere which, in turn, effects the working conditions of the players. Anything effecting the working conditions of the players must be collectively bargained. Therefore, the NFLPA will reserve further comment on this matter until our lawyers find another reason to sue Roger Goodell.

  17. Not sure how this is an NFLPA/CBA issue, if anything it is an OHSA issue. Employers have a legal responsibility for providing a safe/safer work environment for employees – does the NFL have an congressional exemption to that?

    In my union-represented factory, we implement additional safety requirements constantly when an injury-risk is identified, it’s not negotiated. And employees get disciplined if they choose to not comply, can be suspended until they comply.

    Not sure why DSmith thinks differently unless he’s trying to create leverage to get some other concession from the NFL

  18. How is the NFLPA pushing back on a safety issue anything but ammunition for the NFL in any safety lawsuit.:

    NFLPA pushes back on Knee/thick pads

    Player sues NFL for concussions, some received from knees to the head.

    NFL defends, “Well we attempted to mitigate any risks where feasible. One such proposal was to make compulsory knee and thigh pads for all players. The NFL Players Association of which the plaintiff was a member, refused to enact such a proposal.”

    Any Judge is going to see that as extremely contradictory. It could easily undermine current and future cases.

  19. Even when the union agrees to something they BS forever to try to wiggle out of it. How’s that whole “union agreed to HGH testing” thing going so far? You mean they’re STILL stalling on that? Color me shocked!

  20. @thefuture3424 says:

    Studies have shown no corresponding proof between wearing a mouth piece and a reduction of concussions. There was a wide announcement of this in 2009.

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