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DeMaurice Smith: “I dare any one of you” to show NFL has “fallen on hard times”

DeMaurice Smith

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, talks with the media after negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator broke down without an agreement Friday, March 11, 2011 in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was the last man to speak during a dizzying evening of decertification, deregulation, and some name-calling.

Smith stressed a lack of trust in the negotiations and cited a lack of transparency by NFL ownership as cause for decertifying the union.

“Any business where two parties don’t trust each other,” Smith said. “Is a business that can never be as successful as it can be.”

Smith asked ownership for justification that the players should take a smaller piece of the pie than the last collective bargaining agreement.

“I dare any one of you to show an economic indicator the NFL has fallen on hard times,” Smith said.

Smith confirmed that the NFL tried to “split the difference” on Friday in an effort to bridge the $650 million gap that separated the two sides.

“Well it is with a great deal of pride that the members and the players of the National Football League said ‘No...We are going to demand as your business partners that you meet us halfway and justify taking any money from us” Smith said.

“The measure of our Association is the men and their families who fight for the only thing they can bestow to each other: a better game, a safer game and a recognition from those who own for common respect,” Smith said in a statement Friday evening.

The NFLPA took their position of financial transparency very seriously. They weren’t budging, and no amount of negotiating was going to change that.