Attendees of NFLPA meetings wonder, “Where are the stars?”

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The annual meetings of the NFL Players Association can be attended by any players. And players who are there are wondering why their higher-profile colleagues aren’t.

Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics of the meetings, some players are asking, “Where are the stars?” More specifically, they want to know the whereabouts of the men with big names and big platforms who have used social media to encourage other players to reject the proposed CBA.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s duly-elected player representative, isn’t there. J.J. Watt, the first superstar to reject the deal (without details) also isn’t there. Ditto for Russell Wilson, who has uncharacteristically taken a stand on the issue.

That said, Maurkice and Mike Pouncey have drawn plenty of praising for showing up. Both strongly oppose the CBA, and both have embraced the process. They strongly oppose the CBA, and they’re doing what they can to talk to their fellow players about it.

And that’s how it should be. The social-media drive-by may influence people, but it’s no substitute for jumping into the fray and talking through the tough issues, no matter how uncomfortable it may be for those who prefer to avoid confrontations.

46 responses to “Attendees of NFLPA meetings wonder, “Where are the stars?”

  1. The NFL Players might have one of the worst unions on earth. For example, one of the key sticking points during negotiations was to lower the penalties for testing positive for weed. Guess who has one of the most liberal drug testing policies on earth (It’s literally ‘dont smoke from april to august’). The owners were probably laughing their butts off when they agreed to a that concession.

  2. That says a lot. It tells me that the complaints from the stars are really more about their own interests than the interests of the other players.

    If you are opposed to it, then show up and convince everyone that you are right with a strong argument.

  3. Pretty simple. You lose your right to groan about it if you don’t participate.

  4. Before I pull out my pitchfork, please inform us of the COMPLETE LIST of attendees at the NFLPA meetings. Otherwise, this is just another hitjob on Rodgers and Wilson.

    How about Vikings team rep Adam Thielen? Ramon Foster? Geno Atkins? Calais Campbell? Todd Gurley? KJ Wright? Zach Ertz? Devin McCourty? Patrick Mahomes?

    Seriously, no one knows if this is NORMAL or UNUSUAL without actual information of previous meetings or years.

  5. Arod hasnt “been there” for the last 10 years. Neither have the packers…
    Probably off shooting another Insurance commercial

  6. The guys who aren’t team reps (which includes Russell Wilson and JJ Watt) don’t have to be there. But guys like Rodgers who is a team rep absolutely should be on hand. (For whatever reason, the Packers other rep Mason Crosby also isn’t there meaning the Packers won’t even get a vote on anything at the meeting.) Mike Pouncey is the Chargers main rep so he is doing what he is supposed to do by being on hand. No sense congratulating him for doing his job but he’s certainly better than Rodgers in that regard.

  7. The stars are sulking and pouting and trying to influence the process from outside the process, using the weight of their personal platforms to coerce those who want to stay in their favor.

    Once people get a certain amount of power and wealth, they don’t feel the need to use the same processes as the rest of us. They are super-citizens now, and it’s social engineering more than democracy for them.

  8. An elected representative and a leader shouldn’t shy away from meeting their constituents, unless they aren’t really leaders.
    If the majority of the lower paid players are for what you think is a bad deal, show up and explain yourside.
    Don’t stay home and pout.

  9. What about the mouth that roared Richard Sherman? Was he there? Actually I would really like to know. If he was it show leadership off the field which he is always big on. He always seems to have some opinion on everything that happens off the field. If he didn’t maybe he shouldn’t act like he is the mouth of the players on other off field issues. Just saying

  10. Seems like those big names are much more comfortable “talking the talk”, but not “walking the walk”. They don’t have any problem criticizing the deal over social media, but won’t do so in person. Could it be that they’re worried that they might lose face and/or respect if they’re unable to convince the rank and file to fall in line with their opposition to the proposal? Probably has a lot to do with their glaring absence from the meetings.

  11. so the superstars act just like every other American on the internet: complain about stuff then never show up to see it through

    *laughing in Bernie Sanders’ youth vote

  12. mogogo1 says:
    March 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm
    The guys who aren’t team reps (which includes Russell Wilson and JJ Watt) don’t have to be there…Mike Pouncey is the Chargers main rep so he is doing what he is supposed to do by being on hand.


    The argument is that if you’re going to complain about the terms, then show up when it counts, even if you don’t HAVE to be there. You mentioned Mike Pouncey being there as a team rep. Maurkice Pouncey is not a rep for the Steelers (those are Ramon Foster, Cam Heyward, Vince Williams), and he’s still choosing to attend.

    I’m not blaming any players — they can do what they want — but I can see where someone would argue that if you’re gonna get on a social media soapbox and complain, then why not speak up when it matters. Not dissimilar to someone who didn’t vote in a presidential election complaining about the outcome.

  13. akira1971 says:
    March 10, 2020 at 12:53 pm
    Before I pull out my pitchfork, please inform us of the COMPLETE LIST of attendees at the NFLPA meetings.

    Thank you. Or at least if other teams besides the Packers weren’t represented at all.

    Seahawks reps are Wright and Wagner; Texans reps are Scarlett and Mancz (who?). So there is no requirement for Wilson or Watt to be there.

  14. Rodgers had a commercial to shoot (that he gets paid for).

    You think he’s going to show up at a meeting of common players where he doesn’t get paid, even though he’s the Packers player rep?

    The Packers don’t pay him enough to do that…

  15. new CBA is better for the average player than for the superstars, which explains why those who support it do and those who do not, do not.

  16. gtodriver says:
    March 10, 2020 at 1:47 pm
    Rodgers had a commercial to shoot (that he gets paid for).

    You think he’s going to show up at a meeting of common players where he doesn’t get paid, even though he’s the Packers player rep?

    The Packers don’t pay him enough to do that…

    I hope this is sarcasm. He is his team rep, meaning he represents his team. No wonder this guy has only won one SB despite his talent. As the quarterback and supposed leader of his team, he sure doesn’t display many leadership qualities.

  17. rodgers not showing says a lot. armchair leader.

    You think he’s going to show up at a meeting of common players where he doesn’t get paid, even though he’s the Packers player rep?
    PFT stirs the pot and people buy right in. Granted these are salty MN fans, but they still seem to be missing two key facts:

    1. Rodgers already cast his team vote 4 days ago.

    2. They’ve already ruled the votes can’t be changed.

    So tell me, what’s the point of Rodgers being in FL?

  18. It’s as simple as this…the ” stars ” are the ones that don’t want the deal because they get less out of it. The normal players, the majority…get the most of it.

    The big stars don’t want to face the rest of the league players and say

    ” I realize this does a lot for you average joe guys, but us big money makers don’t get as much out of it so vote, no. “

  19. I love how PFT and its readers are so great and telling other people what they should and shouldn’t do, and criticize them for not doing what they think they should be doing.
    I am not Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, or Russell Wilson, so I have no idea why they have chosen not to show up at the NFLPA meetings. Maybe it’s because they have as big of a problem with the leadership of the PA as they do with the owners.
    Rodgers has made it abundantly clear he does not want a 17th game added to the schedule. So maybe he feels his position on the CBA offered by the owners is already well known and he’s making a statement on how he feels by not being there.
    It’s apparently working, because PFT has made it big news that he is not there.

  20. It’s interesting to note how this has all unfolded over the last few weeks. The lower paid guys with less security (Most players)stand to make out better, and the more stable, senior guys (a few at the top) have less reason to support the new agreement. I’m no expert on the details, but it is worth noting that everybody wants the protection of “The Union”, but when it comes down to it, everyone votes in their OWN self-interest. This is not unique to football. No one wants to share their wealth, so to speak, everyone wants what they themselves have earned/will potentially be able to earn. Union is nice for things like work rules and such, but when it comes to getting maximum money, nobody wants the union interfering

  21. The younger players are apathetic with the attention span of a golden retriever. They just want to,play. They’re anxious to get on the field. They’d agree to just about anything. Just as many typical young people don’t think they’ll ever get older. If they want to ignore the advice of seasoned veterans that have been there, done that, so be it. They deserve themselves and whatever they end up with.

  22. Nether of the Packer’s two player reps (Rodgers & Crosby) attended the NFLPA meetings.

    Maybe the Packer’s players need new player reps.

  23. My small company has been using videoconferencing for years. Pretty sure a players’ union earning over $5 Billion can afford it without having the need for everyone to be physically present at the meetings. Voting is also done electronically, not paper-balloting like we’re still in the 1960s.

    Someone needs to educate MF of modern technology…

  24. We are not feeding or paying attention to ONE lonely troll on hundreds of SN’s this season. Done. Next.

    I am very much against 17 games and there was a agreement that there was supposed to be a hard no by the players on that and not up for negotiation. Thoughtful players like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and JJ Watt care about more than just themselves. They care about and the love the game and the NFL. They want what is best for the future of it beyond their playing days.


  25. Q: Where’s Rodgers, Watt, Wilson, and other top-tier important players?
    A: They already voted after making their recommendations.

    Q: Where’s Cousins?
    A: Who?

  26. The Superstars got paid so they don’t care. The most thoughtful take I’ve heard was from Nate Solder, who has already been paid but has talked to and listened to the lower end players in deciding to vote yes to the new CBA.

  27. Not showing up is the lazy way to oppose something. It certainly is easier to just post your objections on your favorite social media platform instead.

  28. So weak that these reps aren’t showing up says a lot about the or lack of true leadership. It’s had enough these guys used their social media platform to influence younger players on how to vote. Not that some of the blame doesn’t belong to the young players as it’s their responsibility to educate and think for themselves. I like that more money is going to the grunts of the leagues as they have been ignored for far too long. Of these so called leaders are so against the cba why not articulate why it’s not a good deal instead of shooting it down. I think it’s incredibly weak of Rodgers and company to fink out of this and they should be removed immediately as team reps. Doubt he cares anyhow.

  29. I already voted so what’s the point? Besides, I really don’t care what Erin or Richard Sherman have to say. But I do know Richard way smart, he went to Stanford, you know.

  30. You don’t like it then don’t make me a player rep. I never wanted the gig anyways. Not like I need the money.

  31. Since this is a Union and they pride on solidarity, the pay scale should be the SAME for every player in a position group. There should not be a 35mill a year QB while others are doing it for pennies. Thats the point of a Union. Therefore Rodgers, JJ, and the rest of these superstars should be taking paycuts to the league average if they are so “UNION STRONG” – SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY TO YOUR BROTHERS or STOP with the preaching.

  32. They are in a brokers office talking about their stocks. The stars want theirs and don’t give a crap about mid level players. If I were the players i would demand an end to the salary cap. Owners are making huge $ and pay out less that 50% of revenue in salary? Really. That has go to suck. What about the gambling $$$ that’s going to come falling out of the sky?

  33. I read Rodgers’ entire statement to his teammates. Wow. I’m impressed anew. He’s a natural born leader. His teammates must certainly appreciate the detail and perseverance he has demonstrated towards their welfare. He’s got one foot out the door. He’ll get another crazy contract. He’s set for life. He didn’t need to do this. No wonder his teammates love playing for him. He could’ve stayed out of it and done nothing more than polish apples to give away to fans and management when it’s time to smile and spew superlatives, like Cousins would do. No, he jumped in. He’s a natural born leader. More than that, he’s still the biggest difference among all NFCN teams and their expectations for success next season. Nothing has changed.

  34. Look at that list of stars that didn’t show up, and look at the list of the stars that have big endorsement deals, and the list looks identical. I’m betting they were told to stay away. Funny, I don’t see the Pouncey brothers doing big money commercials. They have nothing to lose. The others do.

  35. I agree, they should be there, but we shouldn’t be surprised if they are not. They do not endorse the direction that the league is going, so they do not want to support it. In my personal opinion, their duty as team representatives requires them to be present (they signed for that responsibility when they chose to be representatives-why did I vote for you to represent me if you won’t even show up? If you did for your own views, it is a selfish dereliction of duty). But I do understand the reasoning why. I don’t think it makes them bad people necessarily, but they should consider that they represent people who may not agree with their views. Besides, as the article points out, they could show up without endorsing (and even arguing against) the deal.

    Sam Acho illustrated this earlier-he said that the deal was good for some players (the nonstars) and bad for others (the superstars). The superstars aren’t showing because the deal hurts them. That should be expected. But the fact they’re reps (those that are reps, at least) should necessitate their attendance.

    Personally I am not a fan of expanding the playoffs, as a fan. I am also not a fan of the decrease in quality practice time. The 17th game is cool for me as a fan, but I know that it’s not good for many of the players, particularly the veterans, so I yield to them on an issue that could severely impact their health and time management. The increase in money is good. If it were me, it would a tough proposal to decide on, but the fact that a lot of players who do not have financial security would benefit from the deal is extremely important. I think that’s the biggest factor that I, if I were looking at it as a voter, would consider.

  36. There is never going to be a CBA that makes everyone happy. This CBA appears to offer a lot to the lower level players AND retirees. That is a HUGE deal for the majority of NFL players, past and present. The vast majority of NFL players aren’t going to retire with a huge nest-egg.

    It would be foolish for the players to vote this down. They shouldn’t pass it “just because” but they should consider: 1. why are they voting against it? Provide others with specific reasons and offer up alternatives to ask for, and 2. what they will lose if there is a work stoppage. This is primarily for the lower level players.

    How many journeymen will have their careers end if play stops for a year? They’ll end up replaced by incoming college players – younger and cheaper. Not to mention salaries that will be lost and never fully recovered.

    Basically – if a high profile players is making noise about voting no – tell your fellow players WHY. Because otherwise it sure feels like they don’t want more money trickling down to the lower ranks. There should be plenty of money to go around in the NFL.

  37. The so-called stars are rich. And, selfish. They just care about themselves and their money.
    Rodgers and Crosby got paid. Too busy to represent the Pack.
    Pretty sad. The true colors aren’t green and gold. Black and blue.

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