The NFL Players Association slammed the NFL Network in a series of tweets on Sunday, accusing it of using misinformation “designed to tarnish” the reputation of Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams.
Williams revealed on Thursday that he was diagnosed with a rare tissue cancer and had a tumor — which he said was just weeks from reaching his brain — removed from his skull. The growth started six years ago, though the Redskins told him at the time that the growth was minor.
Williams has been involved in a lengthy holdout with the organization and has yet to play this season. The NFLPA stood by Williams in its statement, and said it is considering taking action against the NFL to protect him.
Our statement on behalf of Trent Williams:— NFLPA (@NFLPA) November 3, 2019
In our multiple conversations with Trent and his agent, we have considered various options based on the facts, but we also understand that Trent wants to put this all behind him, not relive a painful experience when his life was (1/3)
...in danger and move on with his career. We are also aware of misinformation being repeated on the NFL's own network that is not sourced and is only designed to tarnish Trent's reputation. (2/3)— NFLPA (@NFLPA) November 3, 2019
...Our union supports Trent, is protecting his rights and continues to consider potential action if a campaign against him continues. (3/3)— NFLPA (@NFLPA) November 3, 2019
Though the NFLPA didn’t mention anyone by name, former Washington general manager-turned-NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly addressed the issue on air Friday. According to the Associated Press, Casserly said Williams was told in 2016 that the growth should be tested, but that he never scheduled the procedure. He also reportedly suggested his holdout was financially motivated. Casserly did not work in the Redskins organization while Williams was on the team.
Williams has expressed his distrust in the Redskins’ medical staff and the organization as a whole. The growth, he said he was told, was a minor issue.
“If I’m getting told by various people who I put my career in the hands of telling me that I’m fine, then I’m fine,” Williams said. “That’s how I looked at it.”
The 31-year-old underwent multiple surgeries this offseason to have the growth removed, and reported to the team this week. He failed his physical upon arrival, however, after reportedly telling the team he felt discomfort on his head after putting a helmet on.
Williams is set to become a free agent in 2021. He has made it clear that he wants guaranteed money from the Redskins for the final two years of his contract, something currently not in place.
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