NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith were guests in separate interviews today (Wednesday, Sept. 9) on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m. ET M-F).
Goodell, on at 7:25 a.m., discussed Michael Vick, the length of the NFL season, the league’s blackout rule, the expiring CBA, and whether a third party should be used in union issues and disciplinary matters.
From the interview:
Mike Greenberg: “What do you think of the possibility of an independent arbiter when it comes to discipline?”
Goodell: “It’s the role of the commissioner. The commission has to be fair. To hand that responsibility off to a third party, that’s a very dangerous thing to do. (“Why?”) Because we’re the one’s responsible for the NFL, not a third party.”
Goodell: “One of the things we really saw during this preseason was that the fans do not like pre-season games. If you watched any one of the pre-season games this year, you saw a lot of empty seats, and those seats were paid for in most cases. People just didn’t show up.”
Co-hosts Greenberg and Mike Golic later spoke with the NFLPA’s Smith.
From the interview:
Golic: “The commissioner said you met – what took place in those sessions?”
Smith: “We met, we talked. The way to move the ball forward is to first explain why you opted out of an agreement that generated $8 billion in revenue…You (Golic) said it was an $8 billion corporation. It’s an $8 billion entity that’s formed as a non-profit that gets anti-trust exemption. I guess there is some information we’re just not entitled to know.”
Smith: “I believe that you do have a system that is more fair when you have an impartial arbitrator. I understand just like everyone else what the rules are right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. And in the same way that they have all the information right now that governs blackouts, I think it is an obligation upon the National Football League right now to explain a little bit better why in the time of a recession you can’t have rules that would make it a little bit easier for fans to enjoy their games on television.”
NFLPA’s Smith Profiled on Sunday’s Outside the Lines
Director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith will be profiled on Sunday’s Outside the Lines (9 a.m. ESPN, noon ESPNEWS).
Within the piece, reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada asks Smith if he is comfortable with the disciplinary power the NFL Commissioner has. Smith replied:
“I’m not comfortable with the process. If you look historically, we as a country moved from a process where there was a king to a process where there was a better sense of fairness because there was a democracy. I like that process better.”
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