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Kevin Mawae: Players know the issues, except “guys like Cromartie”

Antonio Cromartie

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) kneels on the field during NFL Football practice Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets are scheduled to play the Indianapolis Colts in a playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 8 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)


When Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said last month that he thinks leaders of both the NFL and the players’ union are “a--holes,” it was taken by some as a sign that there’s disunity in the ranks of the union.

Now NFL Players’ Association President Kevin Mawae is using Cromartie as an example of a player who doesn’t understand the issues in the players’ looming labor battle with the owners. In an interview with the New York Post, Mawae said most of the players are on board with what the union is trying to accomplish. Then, unprompted, Mawae took a shot at Cromartie.

“I think our players understand the issues,” Mawae said. “If you have guys like Cromartie who want to pop off because they don’t know what’s going on, they haven’t taken the initiative to understand the issues. I truly believe we’re more united than ever before.

But the bottom line is that “guys like Cromartie” are members of the union, too. And if some members of the union, in Mawae’s view, haven’t taken the initiative to understand the issues, it’s going to be awfully difficult for the union to maintain solidarity once those union members have been locked out.

So maybe instead of ripping Cromartie publicly, Mawae should see if he can get Cromartie on board by talking to him privately.