Archive for the ‘Stand As One’ Category

NFLPA Replaces Canceled Rookie Symposium With ‘The Business of Football: Rookie Edition’

May 31st, 2011

(Updated: June 7, 2011 4:30 pm)

NFL rookies will gain an education on “The Business of Football: Rookie Edition” later this month at an event put on by the NFL Players Association. The seminar will be held on June 28-29 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

The NFLPA will explain important information like financial education and the role of the players association as the rookies begin their professional football careers during the owners’ lockout. As they get acclimated to life in the NFL, lessons learned at the 2011 “Business of Football: Rookie Edition” will stay with these young players throughout their entire careers.

For more on this event, check out a story on here.

Fujita Standing Up for His Beliefs

May 13th, 2011

Many players like Scott Fujita are veterans and leaders with various injuries to their bodies because of the physical nature of football. Still, players like Fujita remain steadfast in their commitment to securing better protection for their health and safety concerns above all else.

He is standing up, speaking out and urging others to do the same. Players like Fujita have legitimate concerns about their livelihoods; they are family men who can’t play football forever, not simply “products” that can be replaced.

Fujita took time to speak at his alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, recently. He was part of a panel discussing sub-topics within the larger realm of the NFL’s lockout.

“If I have a chance to stand up for something I believe in, I’m going to do that, and I encourage other guys to do the same thing,” Fujita said.

To read a story about this event in The Daily Californian, click here.

Other Athletes Support NFL Players

May 4th, 2011

Players side with other players in the NFL labor dispute.

In each week’s Sports Illustrated, “The Pop Culture Grid” (page 14) takes a look at how athletes respond to quick-hitting, pick-one questions related to sports news, pop culture and more topics.

In this week’s edition of the magazine, one of the five categories to which four athletes respond between two choices is: “NFL owners vs. NFLPA.” Below are the athletes’ answers:

Charlie Davies, United F (MLS): “I always have to side with the players.”

Kyle Korver, Bulls G (NBA): NFLPA

Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks 3B (MLB): NFLPA

Marco Andretti, IndyCar driver: NFLPA

All four athletes—plus three more whose answers SI didn’t have room for—side with the players in the NFL labor dispute. The excerpt runs adjacent to a photo from the 2010 season of Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts teammates pointing their index fingers up in a show of solidarity as “One Team.”

Check out “The Pop Culture Grid” here.

DeMarcus Ware Shows Leadership

April 14th, 2011

All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys has publicly championed the importance of unity amongst all players. His latest act of leadership further proves that he is one of many players setting the example.

Ware voluntarily decided not to accept his $60,000 to be paid to players to assist them financially during the lockout. Knowing that he has greater financial stability than some of his locked-out brethren, Ware would rather see it go to other players.

“I gave my money back to help out other guys that don’t have as much money,” Ware said Wednesday. “That is going to help out and bring us closer together.”

For more on this story, read this article.

Cardinals Fan Cancels Season Tickets in Response to Letter

April 8th, 2011

On April 5, the Arizona Cardinals sent an e-newsletter to season-ticket holders. The full text of the letter is pasted below.

Dear Season Ticket Holder;

As a Cardinals season-ticket holder, I know that the current NFL labor situation and the preparations for the 2011 season are of great interest to you. As you may know, the annual league meeting was held recently in New Orleans and I want to take a few moments to advise you of recent developments.

The meeting’s focus was on football-related issues and the status of our efforts to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union.

Led by our Competition Committee, a variety of football matters were discussed thoroughly with special emphasis on player health and safety. In the interest of player safety, it was decided to move the spot of kickoffs to the 35-yard line and at the same time limiting the covering team to a 5-yard running start to the kickoff. In addition, we modified instant replay so that all scoring plays will now be reviewed by the instant replay assistant in the booth and sent to the referee if necessary. This means coaches no longer have to use their challenges on scoring plays. We are also continuing to discuss how to best limit hits to the head and expand protection for players in a defenseless position. NFL football has always been a tough sport and it will remain that way. At the same time, we are committed to making it safer and reducing injuries. We are exploring additional rules changes to promote player safety and these will be considered at our next meeting, which will be held in late May in Indianapolis.

On the topic of collective bargaining, we reviewed the status of the union’s litigation as well as the current work stoppage. We all want a quick resolution of the current labor dispute. The NFL clubs put a fair proposal on the table that would pay the players an estimated $19-20 billion over the next four years, including a 14% increase from 2011-2014. There would be no pay-cut for players, only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation. The proposal also included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players.

Unfortunately, instead of negotiating any further, the union and its outside lawyers walked away from collective bargaining and the federal mediators in order to file a lawsuit. This only delays the process of reaching a new long-term agreement.

Our confidence that we will have a collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union is unchanged. The only question is when. We have great respect for our players, admire what they do, and want to share with them the great opportunities ahead for the NFL.

Our expectation is for the 2011 season to proceed without interruption and preparing for it is our #1 priority. As you know, there are a number of different potential scenarios and we will be ready for all of them.

As part of preparations, season ticket invoices were recently mailed. As indicated in that correspondence, season ticket holders will be reimbursed for any games that are not played. After numerous conversations with valued season ticket holders, the refund options will include interest on your 2011 season payment deposits; this interest will be calculated from June 1st, the date your remaining deposit will be required, through the date of each game not played.

I will continue to keep you informed because we recognize these issues are as important to you as they are to us. We truly appreciate your support of the Cardinals and look forward to seeing you again at University of Phoenix Stadium soon.

Thank you for your support as a season ticket holder.


Michael Bidwill
President, Arizona Cardinals Football Club

The letter did not go over well with one Cardinals fan and season-ticket holder. Michael Baltazar, who says the fans are on the side of the players, responded by emailing the Cardinals, writing the following:

Mr. Bidwill,

This is NFL Owner’s propaganda at its worse.

Now you are going use my Arizona Cardinals E-News to sell me on the “owners view”?  

Wow… bad call!  (I will now cancel my E-News subscription)  I get E-News to find about the Cardinals, not that!

I have no intention on renewing my tickets this year, nor anytime in the near future.  You and all the owners need to learn a little more tact.

Good luck, and I hope you get all the money you want!

Your former ticket holder,

Michael Baltazar


Von Miller on Suing the NFL

March 25th, 2011 published an interview Friday with Von Miller, a soon-to-be NFL rookie who also is part of a lawsuit vs. the NFL. Miller calls being one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit “a tremendous opportunity.”

The full text of the story is posted below. The original link on is here.

Von Miller isn’t clueless. He knows there’s some risk involved in suing the NFL before he’s drafted into it. He just decided being a part of the Brady vs. NFL lawsuit was worth that risk.

“I hope it wouldn’t hurt my draft stock,” said Miller, the former Texas A&M linebacker who’s being projected as a top-five pick in next month’s draft. “But you can’t really get possessive over something you never had. So if I fall, then that’s the way it will be. I’ll still be signed with someone and playing football in the NFL.”

Miller is the only incoming rookie whose name appears as a plaintiff on the antitrust suit the NFLPA filed earlier this month in an effort to secure an injunction against the NFL-imposed lockout. He said he was approached, through his agent, at the Super Bowl about becoming a part of the lawsuit and that he needed about three weeks to think about it and discuss it with a group of friends and advisers that included Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson. He’d been following the NFL’s labor situation for more than a year, since he’d contemplated coming out as a junior for the 2010 draft, and he decided the NFLPA’s cause was worth signing up for.

“I just wanted to do my part to make sure football continues to get played,” Miller told in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Football is a business, and I really wanted to be informed about the business aspect of it. I was asked to be a part of this, and I wanted a chance to help out this elite group of guys.”

Miller’s involvement in the suit, from a legal aspect, is an effort by the NFLPA to combat the league’s desire to implement a rookie wage scale that would apply to this year’s draft class. But from Miller’s end, the decision to join up is a testament to the impact of the star power of the suit’s other named plaintiffs.

“Anytime you can help a group of guys like Mr. Brady, Mr. Brees, Mr. Manning and Mr. Vrabel, that’s a tremendous opportunity,” Miller said.

Miller said he hasn’t spent much time pondering the impact of a rookie wage scale, nor has it been a big topic when he’s had the chance to socialize with fellow members of the incoming draft class.

“I’m in this for the guys who have come before me,” said Miller, who was well received by veteran players during his visit to the NFLPA’s annual meeting last week in Marco Island, Fla. “I’m a team guy, and I’m ready to help the team.”

As for the draft itself, Miller says he hasn’t been invited to New York City for draft week just yet and that he’s not sure what he’ll do if he is. There’s been some recent controversy over whether incoming rookies will or even should attend the draft during the lockout, and Miller has certainly followed it. But he says he hasn’t made any decisions yet.

“I’ve always dreamed of going to New York, to Radio City Music Hall, walking across that stage and shaking Mr. Goodell’s hand,” Miller said. “But with the situation and the circumstances the way they are, I’m not sure. I’m just going to take it day by day.”

Stand As One – Photos

October 21st, 2010

For more photos»

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