NFLPA leaders air concerns over Pro Bowl
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In South Florida to help kick off the Pro Bowl, leaders of the NFL Players Association expressed frustration with the league changing the game's location and positioning it before Super Bowl.
Players Association President and Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said the union's concerns include moving the game from Hawaii — its home for the past 30 years — and depriving Super Bowl players from starring in their All-Star game. They're also not pleased Super Bowl players must attend the game to receive their Pro Bowl pay.
"How many of them show up, I don't know," Mawae said. "Some of those guys voiced their frustration because they want to be with their teams when they travel here on Monday, which is part of the Super Bowl experience. Some of those guys will probably come on Sunday, fly back to their home teams and fly back again on Monday."
Mawae's comments echoed those of Super Bowl-bound Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian who earlier this week called moving the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl a "disruption" for his players.
"We'll practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They'll have off Saturday. If it weren't for the Pro Bowl disruption, they would have the weekend off, but they can't because we have to send those players to Miami to do Lord knows what," Polian told 1070 the Fan radio in Indianapolis on Monday. "We'll come back and practice on Sunday, and the Pro Bowl players will go and do whatever they have to do, and then the team will leave on Monday."
Mawae said he isn't sure the best solution but would have preferred the union have a more active role in negotiating the change.
"It being a player issue, we really wish we had a bigger say so," he said. "I think it's something we could have given a little more insight to."
But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the union and its player advisory council were included before the Pro Bowl change for 2010 was announced in December 2008.
"Our office had been discussing this initiative with players and union for a number of years," McCarthy said. "They were supportive."
Smith, who was named the union's leader in March after the Pro Bowl decision had been made, said the union wasn't consulted.
"We love the state of Florida, we love the opportunity to play," Smith said. "The players did not like the fact it wasn't a decision between the NFL and the union."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Steelers’ decision for NFL Draft: Pass rusher or cornerback?
- Depth a concern for Steelers’ Colbert
- Time running out for Steelers’ third-string quarterback Jones?
- Steelers await word from NFL on probable Bell suspension
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft