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NFL Network would continue to interview and host players in a lockout


NFL Network Sunday, September 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. © Jon SooHoo/2010


During Thursday’s visit with former Falcons and Seahawks coach Jim Mora on PFT Live, I asked him in his capacity as an NFL Network analyst whether the prohibition on team contact with players in the event of a lockout would extend to the league-owned broadcast operation, which routinely hosts and interviews players in the offseason. Mora said that NFLN has been making contingency plans for programming in the event of a lockout, and that the network possibly would not be interviewing players or having them on as guests.

Given that Alex Marvez of recently reported that team-owned websites will likely be prevented from talking to players, it’s hardly a stretch that league-owned properties would face the same restriction.

If that happens, however, it won’t arise from a decision by the league to treat the players as off limits.

“We will continue to invite players to be guests on NFL Network and will continue to interview them as well,” NFL Network spokesman Dennis Johnson told PFT via e-mail.

Of course, that doesn’t mean players will accept those invitations. The league owns the network, and the league would be locking them out. Unless the appearance would be used in part as a platform for the player to state the union’s case on airwaves owned by the league, we can’t imagine why any player would want to give the league’s TV channel content at a time when the league refuses to give the players access to their workplace.