In what has become a public back-and-forth between the league and the players, it seems both sides are quickly preparing retorts to each other, in a move that on the surface seems nothing more than a PR chess match. Ultimately, we hope this chess match, whether publicly or privately, steers the dispute towards productivity. Undoubtedly, we won't have any real substance until the court gets moving the first week in April.
The players response to the Commissioner's letter:
This responds to the letter you sent to all NFL players on March 17.
We start by reminding you that we were there at the negotiations and know the truth about what happened, which ultimately led the players to renounce the NFLPA’s status as the collective bargaining representative of NFL players. The players took this step only as a last resort, and only after two years of trying to reach a reasonable collective bargaining agreement and three weeks of mediation with George Cohen of the FMCS. At all times during the mediation session we had representatives at the table with the authority to make a deal. The NFL representatives at the mediation did not, and the owners were mostly absent.
The retort today from General Counsel Jeff Pash:
We are pleased now to have received a reply to the comprehensive proposal that we made eight days ago. The points made in the players’ letter are precisely the kind of points that collective bargaining is intended to address. Debating the merits of the offer in this fashion is what collective bargaining is all about. But we would note that three facts we have consistently identified over the past week are ignored and we therefore assume acknowledged.
Does anyone even care to keep up with all of this right now, or are you tired of the public jousting?