NFLPA president warns players of NFL: “They are not your family”

AP

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might have found Laremy Tunsil’s fall “exciting,” but the president of the players union found it offensive, and hopes generations of young players learn from what happened to the new Dolphins tackle.

NFLPA president and Bengals tackle Eric Winston took the league to task for the mixed messages they were sending players at the draft this weekend, as Goodell exulted in how the drama surrounding Tunsil’s being hacked, shamed and losing millions of dollars was good for (his) business.

In a series of messages on Twitter that threatened to turn into a Jerry McGuire-style mission statement, Winston made it clear the difference between the union’s feelings and the league’s.

I have been stewing over what happened last night and what was said earlier today. This is what I think:,” he wrote. “Last night everyone saw a young man’s dream turn into a nightmare. The mistakes he made in the past were released out there to millions with an intent to harm him. What did the NFL do? Nothing. In fact, if Roger is to be believed, they loved it because it made the draft “so exciting.”

“The NFL invested big on this marketing campaign of ‘family.’ It was all over Chicago on every billboard.
Let me dish out some free advice to the young men coming into this league this weekend: they are not your family. This is a business.”

“I hope that what Laremy said is true and that he learned from his mistake. I wish him good luck and hope every drafted player is wise to what it takes to make it in the NFL and who really has your back.”

Between Winston’s admonition and executive director DeMaurice Smith’s “SMH” to Goodell for other comments, it’s clear the gulf between the players and the league isn’t getting any smaller.

59 responses to “NFLPA president warns players of NFL: “They are not your family”

  1. Perhaps the dude shouldn’t have been so stupid as to smoke dope with a gas mask and had himself video’d while doing it. What is the NFL supposed to do? Hire private detectives to find out who did it?

    And I don’t believe he did it “years” ago. The stoned face I saw looked no younger than him today.

    Millennials refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

  2. Um, wasn’t it a family member who filed suit against him and possibly hacked his account to post the video? Yeah, listen to your family, young man. They seem to have your best interest at heart. C’mon Gnatt!

  3. There are genuine emotions connecting teammates and oftentimes coaches to players. That can be the nature of sports or a lot of shared enterprises. But the author is definitely right – this is a business and these teams will drop these players the moment it makes more sense for them as a team. They’ll love you every step of the way, until they don’t need you anymore.

  4. NFL players as a whole lost no money here. Tunsil’s money was just distributed to everyone taken from Joey Bosa to Sheldon Rankins. They can all write him a check if they feel bad.

  5. Wow. Without the NFL, there is no players union. Without the NFL there are no more Million Dollar contracts. Without the NFL, there is no NFL. No more football. Everyone would have to go out and find jobs like most of the rest of America.

    Maybe the NFL should just shut itself down for a while and mute all the b.s. until they remind the rest of their roles. Maybe that would give time for players and NFLPA to realize exactly what the NFL gives and does for them. I’ve never seen anything like it. If they are so against the NFL ala “The Hand That Feeds Them”, then maybe they should just move on to something better.

  6. Accountability.
    Your on the path to make a ton of money but you must use good sense to pave the way.
    This is life.
    Young people make stupid choices. It is universal.
    They only learn from these stupid choice when and where it costs them dearly.
    This is also life.
    Laremi will be ok, presuming he learns the choices he made cost himself millions and some embarrassment. and he learns from it.
    Goodell did not say or imply that The NFL wished this on Tunsil.
    The NFLPA and you are making it seem that way.

  7. Goodell is a corrupt serial liar and a buffoon. He couldn’t care less about the NFL’s players. And he is slowly destroying the NFL. Hopefully the owners will realize this and fire him, and his entire mob, before it’s too late.

  8. And Goodell who never appears before the media is doing his victory laps on every network TV/Radio show .

    Guess what its not over as NFLPA just added another powerhouse attorney to Brady’s defense team. Sounds like an appeal is coming to the 2nd District Court

  9. Wish the union was stronger but it’s hard to strike because the shelf life of the players is so small. What do they care if the incoming players behind them get screwed?

  10. 1. Roger Goodell’s comments were thoughtless and idiotic.
    2. Tunsil’s behaviors have been unbelievably stupid–taking a hit from a bong while he was being videotaped, lawsuits and alleged criminal activity against his stepfather, requesting money from a coach while he was a student, firing a financial advisor just before the draft who may have had access to his social media accounts.
    3. Roger Goodell’s comments were thoughtless and idiotic.
    4. When Winston writes: “What did the NFL do? Nothing” what did he think the NFL was supposed to do? Ban NFL teams from looking at social media…
    5. Roger Goodell’s comments were thoughtless and idiotic.

  11. These players face more scrutiny then the goofs that are running for President of the US.

  12. Never forget for the union to remain viable they need you to think that you need them every bit as much as they need your dues to pad their fat salaries

  13. Not to kick him when he’s down, but he made a mistake and he’s gonna pay for it. The world is full of people paying for past mistakes, myself included. Handle it.

  14. This is just getting old. If the NFLPA has such a problem with the NFL then they should walk away. If any players have a problem with the NFL then they should do the same. Without the NFL none of them would be what they are. They would all live ordinary lives with regular jobs and likely a lot less money. If the NFL is so bad then just go. Good luck making the money you do and making it for playing and/or simply being a part of “a game” that we all love. If the NFL is so bad then go get a real job.

  15. The NFL wants absolute power over its employees using the NLRA as its tool. Once that is taken away the owners will no longer be untouchable or able to exult at the damage (and consequent rating bonanza) done to the people who make them money. Goodell’s mischaracterization of the NFLPA’s defense of the players and the stupid joy at the loss incurred by Mr. Tunsil because of criminal conduct. I wonder if Goodell would celebrate other criminal acts against the players if it advanced the reality show we call the Draft? The owners need to decide if they want Goodell as their spokesman. I cannot believe the Maras or Rooneys or Krafts want their names associated with Goodell’s latest public gaffes.

  16. That the figurehead for a multi-billion dollar enterprise was pleased that someone else’s misery benefited his organization should surprise no one. That he is so far out of touch that he expressed it publicly should concern the 32 billion dollar constituents of that organization. When the league is pimping family and integrity then has their true mercenary ‘Let them eat cake’ attitude exposed someone is going to have some ‘splaining to do.

    The league may be printing money to the point that they could have a monkey fronting it but sooner or later the owners are going to decide they’d be better served by a monkey that wasn’t flinging feces.

  17. That comment above by blackstrat is ridiculous. 19 year olds will make mistakes. Fact of life.

    Do you mean to tell me you never made a mistake when you were a teenager? And whoever did make a mistake like that it should cost them millions of dollars and be humiliated on National TV?

    I’m getting stoked because this could start the end of Goodell. If he really thinks this added to the Draft excitement then he’s done. Since the precedent is made what’s to stop other people doing something similar right before next years draft? He’s promoting it…

    I’m not a church going man but I’m gonna say a prayer or two that this is the beginning of his end….

  18. I am getting a bit sick of the “NFL”. I will watch the games as long as they are reasonable prices on the NFL Ticket. But the rest of the hype all year long is BS. Screw the OTA’s-Practice Camps-PreSeason Games-Mock Drafts and Mel Kiper! LOL. Oh yeah, I don’t watch the NFL police blotter either!

  19. youngericstacy says:
    Apr 29, 2016 5:45 PM
    Wow. Without the NFL, there is no players union. Without the NFL there are no more Million Dollar contracts. Without the NFL, there is no NFL. No more football. Everyone would have to go out and find jobs like most of the rest of America.

    Maybe the NFL should just shut itself down for a while and mute all the b.s. until they remind the rest of their roles. Maybe that would give time for players and NFLPA to realize exactly what the NFL gives and does for them. I’ve never seen anything like it. If they are so against the NFL ala “The Hand That Feeds Them”, then maybe they should just move on to something better.

    Without the players there is no NFL. It goes both ways, until these billionaires can invent football playing robots.

  20. Weird. The NFLPA doesn’t want the players to have to deal with the consequences of their actions? Goodells comment was stupid. So is this one.

  21. All the owners and players who are making millions and millions of dollars and staying out of trouble, love Roger Goodell. Those are the same people who stayed out of trouble in school and got along well with their principle. They’re also the same people who don’t break the law, and they love the law enforcement agents who protect us from criminals. There are always a few troublemakers who hate the commissioner, they hated their school principle, and they hate our police officers. Many find their way into our prisons, blaming every authority figure they ever encountered. The NFLPA is severely warped.

  22. “Last night everyone saw a young man’s dream turn into a nightmare. The mistakes he made in the past were released out there to millions with an intent to harm him. What did the NFL do? Nothing. In fact, if Roger is to be believed, they loved it because it made the draft “so exciting.”
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Winston should hop down off that high horse because his beloved player’s union didn’t do anything either. In fact, judging from Winston’s comments, he is exploiting the situation to poison new players against the league. That makes the union battles a tad easier in the future if the new guys are conditioned to view their employers as evil money leechers.

    I think Goodell’s comments were callous when you break it down to be about the player. I’m sure he feels for the kid under these circumstances but it didn’t come across that way and he should have said something about it before the close last night. Anyone saying that the draft as a whole was not made more compelling due to the unfortunate circumstances for Tunsil is either lying or not very smart. I think that is what Goodell was trying to convey.

    Many in the media are using this as ammunition in their self-righteous fight against “the man” but they are exploiting this kid for profit as well. They are generating money every time they over analyse the situation.

    I feel bad for Tunsil getting attacked like that and I believe he needs to limit his inner circle because this was done by somebody close. That said, Tunsil, while technically a victim, has only himself to blame. He did the stuff that has been alleged. He admitted it. The timing and nature of the public release was beyond his control but the acts (benefits/bong hits) were his own choices. I hope he grows from this and goes on to have a good career. From what I saw in his demeanor last night, he is heading the right way from here.

  23. Whatever Goodell said; the whole deal with Tunsil dropping 10 spots last night was down to possible criminal activity.

    If Goodell really thinks the “integrity of the game” is so important; he would be concerned with the “integrity” of Tunsils’ social media accounts; and criticise publically these intrusions. By laughing it off Goodell is supporting the hacking of Tunsils’ phone.

    Whatever you do Laremy, don’t destroy that phone; that’ll get you sat for 4 games…….

  24. Every time Goodell opens his mouth something stupid falls out. Roger just shut up and read the picks. He is an embarrasment for the league. When will the owners wake up???

  25. So, according to this meathead, it’s the NFL’s fault that a college football player smoked pot, allowed it to be video taped and then also violated NCAA rules on being paid.

    Yeah, I can see that. Blame Goodell.

    Death to all Unions. They’ve outlived their usefulness.

  26. “Goodell did not say or imply that The NFL wished this on Tunsil.”

    But he did say he was happy about it happening. I mean, it made the draft EXCITING.

    Based on his comment, if he had a choice, he would have chosen it happening over not.

  27. Rodger’s background/job- PR and profits. Make no mistake he buys into any publicity is good publicity. His despicable comments here further prove that.

    So when Pats fans say your team could be next and hater says ” my team doesn’t cheat” I give you the Chiefs. Pretty squeaky clean team there. Hammered much worse than other teams for the same offense.

    Deflate-gate despite the 20 mil cost generated a lot more than that and kept the NFL in the news year round.

    Huge win!

  28. abninf says:
    Apr 29, 2016 5:42 PM
    Millennials refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
    _______

    A) Tunsil hasn’t ducked responsibility

    B) It’s not your lawn

    C) They are not going to get off it

  29. I’m sure Goodell meant “Hey kid, don’t be an idiot. Play it straight by the rules and you’ll make millions. Or you can be an ass clown and ruin it for yourself. It’s your choice.”

  30. @youngericstacy
    Flip the argument around. What would the league be without any of these players? Nothing. If the players decided to go on strike or walk away from the NFL the NFL would go under. All those tv and endorsement deals the league and owners have? Gone. Say bye bye to all the revenue.

    Sure the players would take a hit too but it would just pave the way for a new major football organization to take over. If the big star players left and decided to go to the CFL, Arena football, or even upstart a brand new football league they could and the NFL would be toast. It would only be a matter of time until the league took NFL’s place as the most popular sports/football league and eventually it would be worth just as much money.

    So sure these players “need” the NFL because that’s where the big bucks are but you are completely ignoring the fact that the league also needs these players. I don’t know about you but I tune in every week because of the players and their level of talent. I could care less about Goodell or any of the rich, greedy owners. No one would watch the NFL if the majority of players went on strike or jumped ship to another league.

  31. Eric Winston “stewing over what happened last night?”

    Why? Every man is responsible for his own actions. You want to make more money? Don’t mess up. You can’t force a General Manger to draft you if he feels that you lack character or integrity. And I’m sure that this was a good lesson for all of the younger college players out there.

  32. davemc617 says:
    Apr 29, 2016 6:32 PM
    “Goodell did not say or imply that The NFL wished this on Tunsil.”

    But he did say he was happy about it happening. I mean, it made the draft EXCITING.

    Based on his comment, if he had a choice, he would have chosen it happening over not.

    —————————-

    No. You have an agenda and are putting words in his mouth to support it.

    In no way did he imply that he condoned what happened nor is it his job to condone that the kid smoked marijuana and took money under the table from the college.

    Let’s not act like the kid was innocent. Goodell made a neutral comment. Should the hacker be found, sure, but the airing of Tunsil’s dirty laundry did make the draft more exciting and none of it was incorrect.

    I get that some people will blame Goodell if it rains or they had a bad day but the over the top hate and blaming him for everything is just ridiculous.

  33. youngericstacy: ===”Wow. Without the NFL, there is no players union. Without the NFL there are no more Million Dollar contracts. Without the NFL, there is no NFL. No more football. Everyone would have to go out and find jobs like most of the rest of America.

    Maybe the NFL should just shut itself down for a while and mute all the b.s. until they remind the rest of their roles. Maybe that would give time for players and NFLPA to realize exactly what the NFL gives and does for them. I’ve never seen anything like it. If they are so against the NFL ala “The Hand That Feeds Them”, then maybe they should just move on to something better.”====

    That’s basically what the NFL did last time there was a strike or lockout or whatever it was, a handful of years ago. They just waited the NFLPA out until they ran out of money for their monthly baby mama payments, and then took the players to school when it came time to negotiate the latest CBA.

  34. To the nitwits commenting on Tunsil’s ill-advised choices, that story was posted much earlier (and we all understand that Tunsil was stupid). This story is not about Winston defending Tunsil but, rather, it’s about Winston commenting on the stooge commissioner’s latest ill-advised choice!!! Glad I could clear that up for you. (You’re welcome)

  35. Every time drama arises pre-draft, it generates talk for the sport. We all talk about it, a lot. It creates more interest, more talk, we want to know what happened, who did what.

    We also know that players that drop and turn out to be outstanding will generate the “We should have drafted him when we had the chance” regret conversation. Marino, Moss, and many others.

    I think Goodell’s poorly timed comment was coming from that perspective, not that he wished the player ill. He could have said ‘wow, that was interesting’. Then the union would have said he finds a player’s demise interesting. Or “that was sad” the union would have complained he didn’t mean it.

    I’m not defending Goodell but this squabble between the union and the NFL at a time when they should be showing some kind of unity is pathetic from both ends.

  36. abninf says:
    Apr 29, 2016 5:42 PM
    Perhaps the dude shouldn’t have been so stupid as to smoke dope with a gas mask and had himself video’d while doing it. What is the NFL supposed to do? Hire private detectives to find out who did it?

    And I don’t believe he did it “years” ago. The stoned face I saw looked no younger than him today.

    Millennials refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

    ——————–

    A college student smoked pot. Big whoop. I would be much more surprised if he never had. Just because there isn’t a video of every draftee smoking pot doesn’t mean they don’t do it.

  37. Next CBA the NFLPA should organize fundraisers with autograph signings, resality shows, and weekend camps for kids. Nike.,Adidas, Reebok, Under Armor and such should pay them all small contracts.

    I will pay lots of money to support the players in crushing Goodell. The American people hate this monster and he needs to fall. Just because he is Jerruh’s puppet does not mean Jerruh does not have to lose power to his puppet.

    I want the strike to last as long as it takes to break the NFL.

    The players all playing under a league run by Dana White or Mark Cuban would be just as entertaining. Hogs get slaughtered and I for one love me some bacon.

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