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DeMaurice Smith: “We’re not going to let you down”

DeMaurice Smith

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith arrives for the football labor negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator, Friday, March 4, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke briefly to the media Friday afternoon after agreeing to a one-week extension of mediated labor negotiations with the NFL.

While he wouldn’t comment specifically on the negotiations, Smith spoke repeatedly of his love for the game and his responsibility as a steward of the game. Smith confidently said that he looked forward to a deal coming out of the extension.

“We’re not going to let you down,” Smith said when addressing the fans of football.

Smith brought up the fact that the late Dave Duerson was a plaintiff in Reggie White’s case versus the NFL.

“That’s our history. [Duerson] signed on to be a plaintiff for a case to fight for free agency for players,” Smith said. “He signed on to be a leader to benefit players who he knew would come after him. What we do is hold firm and keep close to our chest the history and the legacy of the game. . . . That defines what our mission is.”

And with that, Smith said he was off to coach his daughter’s basketball team, a welcome respite before he returns Monday to make a little NFL history of his own.