Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey delivered a profane rant against the NFL’s collective bargaining proposal on Wednesday, calling it a “bullsh-- ass deal” in a social media video.
Aaron Rodgers weighed in later in the day with a more nuanced take. But the sentiment was the same. The deal approved by the NFL Players Association that has been sent to players is a no-go.
Rodgers was one of 32 players who voted on the proposal Tuesday to send it from the NFLPA’s board of player representatives to the larger player pool for ratification. He was not one of the “Yes” votes.
He explained why on Twitter.
‘Abbreviated version ... isn’t good enough’
“My decision to vote No is based off the conversations I have had with the men in my locker room that I’m tasked to represent,” Rodgers wrote. “This deal will affect every player that ever plays this game and we have made this decision with only an abbreviated version of the deal and that isn’t good enough.”
One of the big sticking points of the deal involves adding a 17th game to the regular season, a move that would generate more revenue for owners and players, but one that players would pay the price of with an additional toll on their bodies.
Rodgers addressed that concern directly.
‘16 games was never something to be negotiated’
“16 games to me, was never something to be negotiated,” Rodgers continued. “The owners made it clear that the 17th game is about paying for the ‘added’ benefits, and had nothing to do with positive feedback received about any extra risks involved with the added regular season game.”
Pouncey, Sherman agree
Rodgers echoed Pouncey’s concerns as the Steelers center relayed to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic in October.
“[The owners] already get enough,” Pouncey said. “Quit being greedy. The game is already great. If you want to do anything, make it safer. They are greedy. Greedy. They want more money, and they are already billionaires.”
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also expressed concern early Wednesday that players were rushing an important decision. He did not expound on his thoughts.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 26, 2020
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman backed up Rodgers’ stance, arguing that “Health and Wellness of our men is always the most important aspect” in explaining his “No” vote.
Health and Wellness of our men is always the most important aspect. There is no price you can put on that and that is why I Voted No. I respect the Men that have been part of this discussion and stood up for their locker rooms. https://t.co/mL0Yj3E6d9
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 26, 2020
Will the CBA pass?
While the CBA has cleared the initial hurdle of NFLPA approval, it’s receiving significant pushback from prominent players who aren’t on board with additional punishment to their bodies.
Whether that dissent is strong enough to prevent the CBA from receiving the requisite approval of a simple majority among players is yet to be seen.
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