|NFL Lockout, Day 4: Goodell talks, while NFLPA clarifies stance on rookies at the draft||03.16.11 at 12:25 am ET|
A roundup of lockout news at the end of Day 4 of the NFL work stoppage:
•NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t anticipate talks between owners and players resuming before a judge rules on the players’ injunction to try and stop the lockout. Speaking with the NFL Network on Tuesday evening, Goodell said the two sides haven’t talked at all since they walked away from the bargaining table last Friday.
“I think we’re in a period where litigation and the litigation strategy … is ongoing. That will have to play out for the next couple weeks,” he said.
•Meanwhile, the players assured the public that they had no plans to try and sabotage the NFL draft by telling the to prospects to stay away from the first round, set for April 28. Instead, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told ESPN those players might be involved in a “different” kind of event.
In a flurry of Tweets Tuesday afternoon, Atallah tried to set the record straight:
“Lots of interesting commentary on the possible NFL Draft issue. Fans rightfully frustrated. We will set the record straight today. … Let me also correct the record: the NFLPA is not asking anyone to ‘boycott’ anything. NFL Draft in particular. … The NFL Draft is special. Players and their families will be in NYC. It just maybe different. We will provide details when we can.”
In an interview with ESPN Tuesday night, Goodell expressed his disappointment with the union’s plan.
“I think it’s a shame for young men that are starting their careers in the NFL, that are having that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come across the stage, become an NFL player for the first time [to not be able to attend the draft],” Goodell said. “It’s a really special moment and I hope they get to experience it.”
LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, considered a Top 5 pick, told the National Football Post that he’d like to attend, no matter the labor situation.
“That’s a big moment to go up there and shake the commissioner’s hand and get that jersey and hat. It means a lot,” said Peterson, who indicated he had not been contact by the NFLPA about an alternative event. “I definitely want to go and no one has told me not to go. So, we’ll see what happens.”
•One player who expressed frustration over the state of the talks was Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, who called the NFL’s current labor situation to “modern-day slavery” in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.
“It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it’s how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, ‘Hey — without us, there’s no football,’” he said.
Several players took to Twitter to disagree with Peterson, including former Patriots fullback Heath Evans, who said: “We are all blessed to even strap a helmet on in this league!”
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