Players, owners react as NFLPA decertifies, lockout looms
Updated at 5:50 p.m.
The NFL Players Association has decertified as a union, opting to move forward as a trade association. The next step likely will be a lockout by owners.
Drew Brees, a member of the NFLPA's executive committee, has been attending mediation meetings this week and tweeted:
Not once have the players asked for more money during this negotiation. That is a FACT. I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for us
Past players sacrificed a great deal to give us what we have now in the NFL, and we will not lay down for a second to give that up
We have a responsibility and at some point you just have to stand up for what is right
Vonnie Holliday, player rep for the Redskins, said in an ESPN interview:
"The bottom line is this. Two years ago the owners decided to go in the direction to basically lock us out . That was evident by the $4 billion TV network contract that they had with their networks and Judge [David] Doty ruled in our favor on that [last week] because it was not in the best interest of the players. So they've been preparing for this lockout for the last two years. It doesn't get any bigger than that. We had no problems with the CBA. We had no problems with where we were. We've worked so hard as players, you know, [former NFL PA executive director] Gene Upshaw, all these people, to be where we are today and it's unfortunate that today we had to decertify as a union and are on the verge of a lockout by the owners."
Holliday, on what the players want: "We want a fair CBA. That's it. The owners are saying that they're losing money and they want 18 percent back. Okay, if you are losing money, then in fact show us that. We are not opposed to restructuring, but they refused to do that."
"Here's where we stand. Guys have worked, have worked not only for the last 14 days or the last five days, but for the last two years our guys have been working, trying to get a deal done because we want to play. We want to go to work. This was our last-ditch effort. We had to decertify so that we could assure that we could have a season next year because the only way we can sue the NFL now is to decertify and to become individual proprietors. That's where we are now. Our apologies to the fans. We've exhausted all our options. This is it for us."
Phillip Daniels of the Redskins tweeted: "It was the right thing to do. No open books, no deal. We had a good deal in place. Just don't believe there was any financial problem at all."
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys said a deal would get done: "I didn't build that stadium to not play football in it, I'll tell you that."
I guess D Smith wants to one up my old friend Gene Upshaw
The union left a very good deal on the table including financial disclosure of audited NFL n club profitability not even shared with clubs!
Looks like we are about to get locked out
Jeff McLane, who covers the Eagles for the Philadelphia Inquirer, tweets: Just got off the phone with another #Eagles rep - Mike McGlynn. "You hear people saying, 'This is billionaires arguing with millionaires' and I cringe every time I hear it. I just want to jump through the TV screen and say, 'I'm not a millionaire!' "