One of the worst nightmares of NFL fans could be coming to fruition. As of 5 p.m. ET on Friday evening, March 11th, the organization formerly known as the NFL Players Association decided to decertify from the union. Since the two sides weren’t able to agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, this was the step that the NFLPA was expected to take entering into a lockout. Without a new CBA, there will be no NFL football in 2011. Even though things look bleak right now and the two sides have had two years to try and get something worked out without a good enough compromise, I still think there will be football in 2011. The game is too big and too popular to miss games. The real question is when does something get done?
As all that hangs over the league, the owners are in meetings as we speak in New Orleans and are expected to vote on a number of potential rule changes.
Derrick Mason joined 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore with Norris and Davis to talk about the comments Kevin Burnett made about Roger Goodell being a liar, why he agrees with Burnett about Roger Goodell’s letter, and what he thinks of some of the rule changes that are being proposed at the owners meetings.
What he makes of Kevin Burnett’s comments about Roger Goodell being a liar:
“He has his opinion. I think the letter that he put out was a lie. All the board members that were in that meeting over the course of seven days realize what was said and what was done. For Mr. Goodell to put out a letter like that I think he embellished what he said a lot.”
What he made of Roger Goodell’s letter:
“When you’re trying to work out a deal where you’re trying to get a situation rectified you make sure you do what is necessary, you make sure you do your due diligence, you make sure that the people that are able to make the decisions are in the room and that just wasn’t the case. People have to understand this has been a two year process, not just a seven week process or seven day process. He keeps trying to make it seem like a seven day process when all the while we’ve been trying to get something done and it hadn’t been that way. It’s not because of us. As players we would’ve worked under the old CBA, but they wanted to change it and when it came down to trying to work out something, it was an unfair deal. It was literally unfair. It would’ve hurt not only our sport, but sports going forward.”
On the player rebuffing his letter:
“Yeah. That’s why the class came out with another letter rebutting his letter. When you put out a letter like that you have to tell the truth. He embellished it a lot and a lot of what he said wasn’t the truth. The you say at the end well we’re ready to get a deal done, well we should’ve gotten a deal done a long time ago and now if it can get done, let’s really try and get something done. Don’t say you want to and then when it’s time to get it done the powers that be, the guys that can make the decisions are not in the room.”
What he wants the fans to know:
“We just want the fans to understand that we didn’t walk out on this sport and we didn’t choose to be in the situation that we’re in. As a class we want to go back to work and it’s unfortunate that we can’t. I think a lot of people need to see well why are we not at work? The owners can easily say we can play under the old system and guys can come back to work. It’s as simple as that. We want the fans to know that it’s not us that walked out. We were locked out as a class.”
On the proposed rule changes:
“That’s small considering what we’re going through. I don’t even see why they’re going over rule changes like that. Man we’ve gotta start playing football. I don’t want to hear about what rule changes you’re going to make as a league. I want to hear about how we’re going to get this situation solved and if they choose to do that then so be it. (Host: They don’t need you guys to have those talks though.) My thing is then they need to work on something else. I don’t want to hear about the ball getting kicked off at the 35 or touchbacks. I don’t care and frankly I don’t think any of the players care right now. They don’t want to hear about that. Work on getting something done. I don’t want to hear about rule changes at this point in time, we can work on that when we get a deal done. Frankly I’m tired of that. I don’t want to hear it. Let’s try to get a deal done and we’ll leave all the rest of that stuff for when we get this situation rectified.”