|NFLPA calls press conference to discuss player safety issues||02.01.13 at 9:51 am ET|
The NFL Players Association took advantage of having much of the football media in New Orleans Thursday, calling a press conference to discuss its complaints about safety issues.
Executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Domonique Foxworth held the conference. Smith said the NFLPA will file a grievance if the NFL refuses to implement a system to verify the credentials of all team medical personnel, and brought up amendments related to player safety that the players’ union wants in the new CBA.
The union also wants the NFL to put independent neurological consultants on the sidelines during games to help diagnose and treat concussions. Earlier on Thursday, league general counsel Jeff Pash said the league expects to implement that plan next season, but Smith said the players union has not seen the proposal and details have not been confirmed.
The two sides also have yet to agree on the details of implementing blood tests for human growth hormone. Smith said the league has not agreed to using the type of independent arbitrator that Major League baseball uses, though Pash said the league recently made a new proposal to the players that he thinks will lead to an agreement.
Smith called out the NFL for locking out its officials at the start of this year, saying the use of replacement refs was “one of the most deliberate disregards of player safety that I think has occurred in the National Football League since our inception.”
|NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith meet over arrests||08.02.12 at 11:49 am ET|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and union leader DeMaurice Smith met last week in order to discuss the recent increase in arrests of NFL players.
“We are going to do some things to combat this problem because some of the numbers on DUIs and domestic violence are going up and that disturbs me,” Goodell said in an interview with CBSSports.com. “When there’s a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change.”
The numbers coincide with the pattern Goodell mentioned. The number of NFL players arrested has increased every years since 2010, going from 42 in 2010 to 44 in 2011 and to an ugly 48 in only seven months into this year.
The commissioner said that he wanted to eliminate two main issues: DUIs and domestic violence. He said the best way to do it would be to strengthen the existing policies and possibly even adding new protocols to more effectively eradicate this problem.
In 2010, there were 16 arrests for driving under the influence. There were eight arrests in 2011. Through July of this year, there have been 19 arrests.
The current substance abuse policy for DUIs pertaining to first-time offenders is evaluation and entry into a substance abuse program, along with a fine of two game checks up to a maximum of $50,000. Second and third violations likely warrant suspensions.
Domestic violence is apart of the personal conduct policy, and if any player or employee of the NFL is convicted of a crime in this category, they would be subjected to fines or suspensions as well.
“We’ve had some really good discussions with the union,” Goodell said. “Now we just have to see if we can carry through with them.”
|Top Stories of 2011, No. 9: NFL lockout||12.23.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 9: NFL lockout.
Check out our previous entry:
No. 10: NBA lockout
As the NFL regular season comes to a close, its easy to forget that the league was in the midst of a lockout just a few months ago. But the 2011 NFL lockout was actually the longest in league history, spanning 18 weeks and four days, from March until August.
Throughout the 2010-11 season, the threat of a lockout hung over the NFL, never taking the front stage, but always in the back of the minds of coaches, players, owners and fans alike. The 1993 collective bargaining agreement, which the owners had extended in 2006 by a vote of 30-2, was set to expire after the 2010-11 season.
The extension was originally supposed to last longer, but in 2008, the owners unanimously agreed to opt out of the CBA early. The owners seemed to think that the 1993 extension was unfairly in favor of the players. The deal gave players 59.6 percent of the league’s total revenue.
The timing of the 2006 extension was suspect to some owners as well, as then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was preparing to retire from his position. Many thought that Tagliabue was not willing to risk tarnishing his legacy by getting in a long, drawn-out battle with the players over a new CBA. So then-NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw got Tagliabue to sell the owners on the deal that extended the 1993 CBA and gave the players nearly 60 percent of the revenue.
But with Tagliabue gone in 2008 and Roger Goodell in the commissioner’s office, the owners voted to opt out of the CBA early. Just a few months after the vote, Upshaw died of pancreatic cancer, meaning the NFLPA would not be under his stern leadership for the first time since the 1980s.
That meant that new NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith would have to deal with a group of owners determined to hash out a CBA that would significantly cut the amount of total revenue the players received. In an owners meeting in March 2008, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who fired his own sons, reportedly told his peers, “We signed a [expletive] deal last time, and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it.”
|NFL takes step toward implementing HGH testing||10.13.11 at 8:58 am ET|
The NFL took another step toward adopting HGH testing this month when it received a letter from 23 scientists and lab directors from around the world asserting the safety and accuracy of a current test which detects HGH in the bloodstream.
The letter was sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith as further proof that there is no reason to delay the implementation of HGH testing in football.
As part of the new collective bargaining agreement reached this summer, the NFL and players agreed to begin blood testing for HGH, but the union has delayed adopting that specific agreement because it says there is not enough scientific evidence of the reliability of HGH testing.
This newest letter joins an additional letter confirming the validity of the test, providing around five dozen scientists and lab directors worldwide who affirm the effectiveness of the test.
“This further demonstrates that there is simply no excuse for delaying the start of HGH testing in the NFL,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL league spokesman. “The scientific validity of the test is unquestioned. The abuse of growth hormone must be deterred to protect the health of our players and send the right message to young athletes in sports.”
The NFL Players Association has yet to release a comment on the letters, saying it wants to further review the information before issuing a statement.
|Report: Two sides in NFL lockout to meet in Minnesota||06.28.11 at 11:46 am ET|
The NFL and NFLPA “secret meetings” tour appears headed to Minnesota next, according to an Associated Press report. The two sides had met in Chicago, New York, Maryland and in Hull, Mass. last week. According to AP sources, representatives for both sides arrived in Land of 1,000 Lakes on Monday.
ESPN football insider Chris Mortensen tweeted that negotiations will go until Friday, marking the first time that the NFL and the players association would meet for four straight days since the lockout began four months ago. While others reported that players and owners will be involved in these rounds of talks, NFL Network reporter Albert Breer also tweeted that only league commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith and and their respective staffs will be participating.
|Mediator claims ‘some progress’ in NFL negotiations||02.25.11 at 7:03 am ET|
After a week of overseeing meetings between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and union boss DeMaurice Smith, mediator George Cohen said in a written statement “strong differences remain on the all-important core issues,” but that “at bottom, some progress was made.”
The sides will meet with the mediator again next week, days before the collective bargaining agreement expires on Thursday.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jewish hockey player sues Ducks for discrimination||01.27.11 at 6:33 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
NBA: Celtics at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ A Jewish hockey player sued the NHL’s Ducks for religious discrimination Wednesday because he said the team failed to prevent harassment by coaches of the minor league team he was assigned to in 2008-09. Jason Bailey claims he was the target of anti-Semitic comments by Bakersfield Condors head coach Marty Raymond and assistant Mark Pederson.
After Bailey complained during the season, the coaches were suspended and wrote letters of apology to Bailey. Raymond still coaches the Condors, who no longer are affiliated with the Ducks. Pederson now coaches in Europe.
Bailey now plays for AHL Binghamton Senators, an Ottawa affiliate, but he hasn’t forgotten how he was treated by Anaheim.
Said Bailey’s attorney, Keith Fink: “Instead of doing the right thing and disciplining those who [made the anti-Semitic comments] and firing them and treating Jason as any other player, those two guys are still coaches, and they sent him to Siberia.”
♦ Lions linebacker Zack Follett has had a rough week. First, he did a radio interview in which he said a lot of positive things about teammate Matthew Stafford but also referred to the oft-injured quarterback as a “china doll.” (He also made come derogatory comments about Bears QB Jay Cutler.) Then, Follett, himself suffering from a neck injury that could end his career, tweeted an apology. When he continued to receive criticism, he responded with a five-minute video rant in which he blames the media first and then moves on to blame Satan, saying the devil is coming at him through the media and Twitter.
♦ Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett responded to Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie‘s critical comments about union and ownership representatives by voicing support for union head DeMaurice Smith. “Players are not going to turn on each other,” Lewis said.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 27, 1997, the Red Sox acquired John Wasdin from the A’s in a trade for which player?
|Report: NFL union leader feels ‘lockout is coming’||09.08.10 at 5:10 pm ET|
In an interview with Bloomberg.com, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith expressed doubt that a new collective bargaining agreement will be completed before the start of the 2011 regular season.
“I still feel that a lockout is coming in March,” Smith said to Bloomberg.
The key issues dividing the owners and players, according to Smith, are rookie salaries, a 16-game vs. 18-game regular season, health coverage and drug testing.
Smith told Bloomberg that the players are prepared in the event of a work stoppage, suggesting that the players union has over $200 million saved in a lockout fund.
- Ty on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fined $100K; forfeiture of draft picks a possibility
- Geetsolboy on Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Struggling Nets demote top assistant Lawrence Frank after reported rift with Jason Kidd
- Kevin Miller on NFL roundup: Discipline expected for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin; Giants-Redskins ends in controversy
- Mike on Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez amends lawsuit, says Bud Selig lacks ‘courage’
- my10sense on Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner reportedly facing 1-year suspension
- DF on Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner reportedly facing 1-year suspension
- Mike on Friday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez hearing ends, player’s lawyers say they’ll take case to court
- gazzzmann on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’
- Mike on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’
- TedSox on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’