Blog Entry

NFLPA's letter to Roger Goodell and NFL clubs

Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:21 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Or perhaps a better title would be "Dear, Roger." Because that's how DeMaurice Smith's letter to Roger Goodell -- informing him that the NFLPA planned to decertify -- began.

Perhaps it's not that amusing, considering the state of the NFL right now, but it still at least seems odd. (As transcribed from NFL Network.)
Dear Roger,

This is to advise you that, pursuant to a vote in which a majority of the players indicated that they wished to end the collective bargaining status of the NFLPA, the NFLPA is renouncing its status as the players' collective bargaining representative and disclaiming interest in continuing as the collective bargaining agent of the players as of 4:00 p.m. eastern time today. It is the players' intention to instead operate hereafter as a professional association dedicated to improving the business conditions of professional football players in the National Football League, including the enhancement and the protection of the contracting rights of its members. By copy of this letter to each member clubs of the NFL, I am also informing them of this important change in our status.

Sincerely, DeMaurice Smith
Now, it's worth noting that this is typical of a letter from a lawyer, and probably one that wasn't actually written by De Smith himself. (One has to assume that he has a secretary and/or legal assistant for such matters.)

Much more interesting is that the NFLPA claims to have decertified at 5:02 PM EST. But Smith's letter clearly indicates the players' intent to decertify at 4:00 PM EST.

Given that the owners will likely attempt to file some sort of legal motion that claims the decertification is a sham, it'll be interesting to see whether or not the timing difference there factors in. The principle there being that the NFL would attempt to prove the players were negotiating in bad faith based on their intent to decertify from the beginning.

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