NFLPA president “offended” by remarks from some owners regarding brain trauma

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Seven years ago, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith admitted that the union at one point was part of the problem regarding pro football’s handling of concussions.

“For far too long, our former players were left adrift,” Smith said at a Congressional hearing in 2009. “We were complicit in the lack of leadership and accountability, but that ends now. I am here again to make it clear that our commitment is unwavering.”

The commitment includes freely admitting that which needs to be admitted; specifically, the existence of a link between football and possible long-term brain damage.

Appearing on Wednesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, recently re-elected NFLPA president (and Bengals tackle) Eric Winston reacted to the recent stew of comments from the league office and various owners with a strong reaction to some of the statements from those aligned with the league.

“I think like [NFL executive V.P. of player health and safety] Jeff Miller said, I think we think there’s a link [between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy],” Winston said. “Now what does that link mean? The one thing that we’ve always stood for and the one thing we will continue to stand for is the science. Where is the science telling us to go, what’s the science telling us to do and how can we help move that science along? . . . We’re going to keep pushing that, we’re going to keep pushing those boundaries. Not just in prevention, not just in treatments but also, ‘OK, what is it and what exactly is it doing and how is it affecting us?’ And I think that’s important.

“But I also think it’s important to outline just some of the ridiculous comments that were made. I was offended personally by some of these owners’ comments. You know, just take an aspirin or that football isn’t that dangerous or this and that. I mean, obviously, we know some of the risk going into it. We understand that it’s a contact sport, and we’re doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible but some of the flipping comments that were made from the owners were, like I said, rather offensive and kind of tarnish I think what we’re trying to do in this health and safety phase.”

For more from Winston, check out the podcast at iTunes or audioBoom.

33 responses to “NFLPA president “offended” by remarks from some owners regarding brain trauma

  1. The NFLPA should be ashamed of themselves. They’ve done nothing to protect the players. Way too many are broke just a couple years after retirement, even though they made millions. So many players are suffering from a diet that’s high in sugar and glutens, and causing all kinds of health issues including brain related injuries. The NFLPA has no interest in the players whatsoever. I hope they’re not charging the players for their “representation”.

  2. C’mon. The owners know who their meal tickets are. They didn’t become billionaires by being compassionate or honest. Most of them inherited their ideologies…..and teams.

  3. He always claims to be offended by something. He’s taken an adversarial approach to the league after getting smoked on the collective bargaining agreement. I guess he has to pretend to be relevant. Usually he just protects the bad guys like all unions do.

  4. If the PA is so adamant about better player safety, then why isn’t the PA at the forefront of research and development and funding?

  5. NFL and NFLPA both shoulder plenty of blame, but I agree that the remarks the owners are making are completely self serving. The stuff the league office does on a daily basis should be the subject of public examination though.

  6. The only thing the scum bag owners care about is the money and how they can get more of it at any expense. And we will keep lining their pockets regardless because our entertainment is just as important. Greed and stupidity work well together. The NFL leads the way and the sheep will follow.

  7. As a former player, I have no sympathy for those claiming risks were hidden. Everyone who ever played knows the risk and have for ever. If you chose to play you chose to take a risk. Just like if you drive without a seatbelt. Choice.

  8. Winston is a pretty smart guy. He wasn’t the rep when the latest deal was signed. Not sure what your complaint is.

  9. If ‘offended’ makes it into regular NFL vernacular, we as a nation are done. “Offended” is a caustic word used by entitled people who want something for nothing. It no longer means what it did when Smith was a kid.

  10. The NFLPA is interested in itself. The players are just meatsacks for them to poach money off of. The CBA is a total JOKE of a bargaining agreement. The owners laugh about it.

    Whatever CTE means for the NFL, if anything, you can be 100% confident that the owners and the NFLPA will figure some way to exploit it and make money off of it.

    Congress is interested in it so obviously this issue is bringing out the professional scumbags and leeches. Look for it to get far worse for the players and fans from here on out. Cuban was right, this league is going to collapse soon.

  11. lingsun54 says:
    Apr 6, 2016 9:00 PM
    He always claims to be offended by something. He’s taken an adversarial approach to the league after getting smoked on the collective bargaining agreement. I guess he has to pretend to be relevant. Usually he just protects the bad guys like all unions do.
    When you don’t have anything to counter the substance of an argument just attack the messenger. Oldest trick in the book.

  12. De Smith and Tom Mayer are mutes.

    Lots of shady research paid for by the NFLPA by those that don’t believe in CTE.

    If Winston is serious, time to clean house.

  13. I’ve enjoyed football but sometimes it feels like cheering on gladiator battles just as Rome collapses. The CTE issue will destroy this sport. The owners are no better than big tobacco in the lies they spew.

  14. You know what I find absolutely amazing?? That this is even a topic of concern outside of any place other then the locker room & the fact that it is even a concern in general or in the media or with fan bases is ridiculous. These professional Football Players are being paid ridiculous amounts of money to do what they do…’s a choice. If you don’t want to risk possible short term, long term or fatal brain injury’s don’t play the game……it really is that simple. Concussions are nothing new, hell there minimal now, as they were much more prevalent in the past. Better equipment and understanding as well as rule changes have all reduced the amount of incidents. I find it rather insulting that I should some how have compassion for players that pissed away there fortunes one way or another to only cry foul now. Please don’t play me for a fool with the nonsense of “I did not know the possibilities of long term brain problems or problems in general after playing Pro Football. That is silly & insulting. Too try to cash in on it is the worse part. Now long term medical insurance for players should be a given & only because the money that is being made is outlandish but compensation …….cry me a river. Hundreds of thousands do to no fault of there own die from asbestos related health issues every year……those older folk who were dealing with it and installing it had no idea of the risks ……they deserve compensation. Football players …..really? They needed data & scientific proof that some how getting your head bashed in week after week several times a game during a season & causing concussions could not have a long term effect?????? So it’s not apparent that blowing snot bubbles while they lay motionless on the ground then getting up & stumbling all over the place while not knowing there own names or what day of the week it was, was some how ok? Nonsense…… carpenters all know they will have bad knees …’s a fact. Painters know they will have shoulder issues …..its a fact. Constantly hurting the same area over & over again is going to have long term effects. They get paid handsomely for what they do & do it regardless of the risks as money has always been a great equalizer to common sense . Enough with this crap & play ball or don’t …… is 100% your choice. Live with the consequences. These are choices made every day by regular folks who are trying to survive & put food on the table , not choices of whether or not they are installing basketball courts or bowling alleys in there homes. Alaskan crab fisherman to High-Rise Window cleaners to current Asbestos Removers choose to make the good money at an inherent risk football players should be treated no differently…….My 2 cents

  15. If were truly that offensive, the players wouldn’t be playing for the owners. If the paycheck can make you look the other and continue to play for the owner, you are not that offended – you just want to complain about it (and probably seek public sympathy)

  16. Players have to take care of themselves, the owners aren’tgoing to do it. They’re the owners. It’s the same group that repeatedly vote Goodell in. Just keep taking them to court.

  17. Bet that human scum Richardson was one of the mouthy owners.The man walks around with another man’s heart beating in him and talks crap about those of lesser stature as if he were somehow commissioned a place of judgement. He talks of players (of which he had a brief career) as being greedy and ignorant but fails to look in the mirror at his own pathetic, self-righteous self.

  18. there are so many ex NFL players who are livng normal happy lives mostly the ones that made good after football descions who have nice jobs but i get it some blew there money and going broke or went broke shortly after there playing days and i admit if i was one ex player who went broke i would jump on the concussion scandle and try and get my piece of the action its only human nature…but you got have ex players for example Romanowski Mginnis howie Long all in the 50s doing just great and thats just very few that i mentioned….but dont get me wrong i feel bad for the guys who didnt save or think ahead of the after football days that alone would give headaches and stress as bills add up and familys torn apart…

  19. “… I think we think there’s a link [between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy],” Winston said.

    It’s certainly not as emphatic as Smith’s statement – “our commitment is unwavering.”

    I think we think? The NFLPA is going to get steamrolled again in the next contract negotiations.

  20. Getting really tired of how acceptable it is to have such thin skin nowadays. Your offended because some owner said take an aspirin? Who cares, grow up! These players have been playing since they were children. Why aren’t they holding youth leagues, high schools or colleges accountable? Why aren’t they holding their parents accountable for knowing the dangers but still letting them play? If players are so concerned about CTE then why do some make comments that they would rather be hit in the head then have their knees taken out? Everyone knows it’s a dangerous sport. If you don’t want to risk CTE than just retire, no one will blame you.

  21. What do you expect the owners to say? These billionaires own a corrupt organization known as the NFL. They have a serial liar and incompetent buffoon as commissioner, who leads the corrupt mob at Park Ave. Sad but true.

  22. I’m sorry Winston but if you think the owners are going to take advantage of science the last 18 months should tell you otherwise

  23. lingsun54 says:
    Apr 6, 2016 9:00 PM

    Usually he just protects the bad guys like all unions do.

    Only a gullible fool who has never belonged to a union believes that lie.

  24. Apr 6, 2016 10:07 PM
    “I think we think there’s a link [between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy]”

    Many of us also think there is a link between the insulating effect of their incredible wealth and the vast indifference and insensitivity of many owners towards their obligations as stewards of the game

  25. “If the PA is so adamant about better player safety, then why isn’t the PA at the forefront of research and development and funding?”

    Like that would help anything? The NFL ignored the research leaders for decades and actively worked to undermine them. And to this day the owners publicly question whether you can get brain injuries from smashing into other people at break-neck speed.

  26. Here is the bottom line !…players are being payed tens of millions of dollars to play NFL Football. There is nowhere else that they would ever be payed this lucrative salary…and they know it !…Football is a violent contact Sport….That is what draws us to it, both [ present and past ].CTE is an Occupational Hazard that there is limited Science to prevent. We can improve tackling techniques, helmet and pad design, but only so much.The real problem is the great deceleration that goes on inside a players skull during a violent hit.This has been very difficult to address and with limited success.The only thing left , is to change the rules to limit contact, which will render the product to be made unwatchable.It would be the same as taking Speed away from Auto Racing.Therein lies the dilemma. Pay and play, or go home to try a much less lucrative Career [ financially speaking ]. db

  27. The NFL front office and the owners are not strong in science. They skipped that class in school. This is illustrated by their lack of understanding of the gas law in the bogus deflategate debacle and in the disastrous CTE investigation. Lies that perpetuate a soulless climate of greed. Do the right thing is not in their lexicon.

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