Archive for the ‘Press & Media’ Category

Bennett: ‘All the Guys Want to Do Is Play Football’

June 28th, 2011

While serving as Chairman of the NFLPA’s Board of Former Players, Cornelius Bennett has taken on an important leadership role to help former NFL players.

“That’s what I get joy from now,” Bennett told The Birmingham News in a recent interview. “I’m helping others, and I can honestly say I enjoy doing what I’m doing now more than when I was a player, because then it was only about me.”

As Bennett lobbies to help former players secure better benefits, he stresses that active players all want to play football—just as he did when he entered the league as a legend from the University of Alabama.

Read more about Bennett’s charity golf tournament, role in the labor negotiations and more on The Birmingham News website here.

Free Agents Stuck in Limbo During Lockout

June 27th, 2011

“Stuck in limbo” might be the most suitable description for a free agent during this NFL lockout. Technically unemployed, free agents don’t have contracts and aren’t part of a team, putting their status for the next NFL season—whenever that season starts—up in the air.

Eric Smith, a safety who played for the New York Jets last season, is one of many free agents who face uncertain futures. While exploring his options, Smith is working out individually as well as with others at Michigan State, and he earned his master’s degree in criminal justice during the lockout. Coaching football might be his future calling.

Realizing that a career playing football is not a sure thing, especially while being locked out, Smith has taken extra steps to prepare himself. He’s wisely signed up for COBRA health insurance, an option for all players during the lockout.

As part of an ongoing series profiling people impacted by the NFL’s lockout, The Washington Post published an in-depth profile on Smith in Monday’s editions. Read the story here.

Boston-Area Businesses Hurt by Lockout

June 16th, 2011

Boston, a city passionate about its professional sports teams, has seen each of its teams in the four major sports claim championships in recent years. (The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup with a Game 7 win Wednesday night.)

But if the NFL’s lockout persists, many Bostonians and sports fans will feel the pinch.

Patriot Place becomes a hub of activity during the football season, as Patriots fans flock to the area surrounding Gillette Stadium to support their team. Businesses such as restaurants and motels are feeling rightfully edgy about the lockout affecting their bottom line—and their livelihood.

“If the stadium wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be here,” the owner of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro told The Boston Globe.

Click here to read an article in The Boston Globe about the economic impact the lockout is having on those who rely on the Patriots playing football.

Cornelius Bennett Pens Op-Ed Asking Owners to Lift the Lockout

May 23rd, 2011

The Buffalo Bills have had plenty of great players in their franchise’s history. Cornelius Bennett is one of them. Once a star linebacker and now an elected leader among former players, Bennett is uniquely tied to the Bills’ history.

As a fan and former Bills player, Bennett is interested and engaged in the NFL labor situation. He recently wrote an op-ed that was published in the Buffalo News over the weekend. Among some excerpts of Bennett’s op-ed are:

“Players want to play for teams that have a chance to win. Small-market teams like the Bills have as good a chance to win as any other team in the league. This lockout hurts small-market teams, especially the Bills.”

“I was in those negotiation sessions representing the interests of former players but also looking out for my Bills franchise that I love so much. Players want to play, but we also want what’s fair for the game. We believe in the connection between a city, its players and its team. A lockout erodes that connection.”

To read Bennett’s entire op-ed in the Buffalo News, click here.

Silver: ‘Settlement Remains the Most Prudent Option’

May 18th, 2011

Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes an article published Wednesday that assesses the legal impact of Monday’s court decision.

Silver raises several strong points in his article. Below are some snippets:

Silver writes, “The players are still standing firm in their quest for a better deal than the ones which have been offered by the owners on March 11.”

He goes on to add, “All of this, from my vantage point, suggests that neither side is going to be beaten into submission by a single legal opinion or another seemingly pivotal development – and it reminds me that, without a doubt, settlement remains the most prudent option for both sides.”

Silver points out that DeMaurice Smith would like to see a mutually satisfying accord: “Do people actually think that I really don’t want to make a deal?” Smith asked. “We chose litigation because we knew they were going to lock us out, and I can only counterpunch. But here’s the fundamental disproof to the charge that we wanted to litigate: We offered to keep playing under the old deal. What more do you want the players to do to demonstrate their commitment to playing football?”

To view Silver’s entire article, click here.

Colts Blogger Gets Both Sides of the Story

May 12th, 2011

This week, a fan/blogger covering the Indianapolis Colts named Nate Dunlevy had the unique opportunity to speak with executives with the NFL and the NFLPA. He spoke by phone with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs George Atallah in separate calls on different days.

In a new post on his site Thursday, Dunlevy recaps his on-the-record interview with the NFLPA spokesman. The two discussed myriad issues, ranging from the lockout insurance/TV contracts case, how the NFL’s lockout came about, the league’s incessant refusal to show audited financial statements and many more topics.

Dunlevy writes, “Ultimately, if the league solves its revenue sharing process, it will be better able to negotiate with the players. However, at present the NFL owners’ failure to disclose financials seems to have more to do with shielding the data from one another than it does a desire to stall negotiations.”

He goes on to add: “The lockout rests firmly in the hands of the owners. They can put an end to this any time they choose.”

Check out the full summary of the conversation between Atallah and Dunlevy on Dunlevy’s site,

Truth Behind Additional Revenue Split

March 23rd, 2011

According to the Associated Press, NFL players received 52.9 percent of incremental increases to all revenues under the NFL’s now-expired contract.

This fact comes despite the NFL’s repeated claims that 70 percent of extra revenues went to players.

“The NFL wants to artificially inflate the percentage of incremental revenue going to players by excluding revenues that never go to players,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said. “League officials … have been selling a lockout to owners based on misleading and incomplete financial information. They excluded the cost credits to be able to tell owners that player costs are rising faster than all revenues. This is not true.”

The 70 percent of incremental revenue assertion by the NFL is the only economic justification that the league ever offered for its giveback demands, and now, the lockout imposed by owners.

To read more and get the truth on this issue as reported by the AP, check out National Post’s site here. Here is the AP’s story as posted on Google News.

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