DeMaurice Smith on negative views of proposed CBA: Democracy is messy

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The NFL Players Association will be holding a vote of the full membership on a proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the union’s executive director DeMaurice Smith didn’t set a timetable for when that vote will take place when speaking with reporters from the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday.

We’re likely to continue hearing players discuss the merits of that proposal until the vote does take place and Smith has heard some of the negative reactions to it from prominent players like Aaron Rodgers this week. Rodgers was critical of the expansion to a 17-game regular season and Smith said that was a condition ownership insisted upon to do a deal with a year left on the current CBA.

He also said that he’s fine with hearing players come out against the deal because “democracy is messy.”

“Why would I ever be in a world where I would look at them voicing that in a negative way? I get that Aaron is passionate and he expressed his opinion, other players have come out and are passionately expressing their opinion, it’s fine,” Smith said, via Lindsay Jones of TheAthletic.com. “I would much prefer that than for anybody to think they didn’t have a voice.”

Smith said, via multiple reporters, that he knows some players will never be in favor of a 17-game schedule and that they should “vote their conscience” once the language of the deal is done and presented to players for a vote.

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