Waters Was Part of Friday’s NFL Labor Fracture

We know that Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was part of the NFL side on Friday during the last day of negotiations before the decertification/lockout double punch hit pro football.

And thanks to DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, we know that there was another Kansas City connection actively involved in what was going on over the last three weeks and especially on Friday.

In a statement that he made Friday evening in Washington, D.C., Smith said the following:

“So today I’m sad for our fans. I’m sad for our players, but I’ll tell you what: the last message to the owners of the National Football League didn’t come from the Executive Director. It came from the Vice President of the Executive Committee, (Indianapolis Colts center) Jeff Saturday. The last word to the owners came from the Vice President named (Kansas City Chiefs guard) Brian Waters. The men who sat across from the owners and did most of the talking today wasn’t a lawyer from D.C.

“It was players who risk everything, every day, for the game that they love.”

Since the actual negotiating sessions and meetings between the NFL and its players are not open to the media, it’s always hard to tell just who among the owners and the active players actually get their hands dirty in these discussions. The late Gene Upshaw, who was the NFLPA’s executive director for many years, was known as a leader who kept information close to his vest and relied more on his legal team to do the talking with the NFL.

Smith promised when he was hired and he appears to be following through with having the players more involved. Waters is part of the union’s executive committee, a group that has a very familiar Chiefs feel. Along with Waters is about to retire Chiefs OLB Mike Vrabel, former FB Tony Richardson and former LB Scott Fujita.

Waters has been a rising star in the union over the last five years and it would not be a surprise when his career ends that he ended up working for the NFLPA in some fashion.

5 Responses to “Waters Was Part of Friday’s NFL Labor Fracture”

  • March 14, 2011  - el cid says:

    Anyone part of this “contract failure” is no fan of the KC area pro sports and Jackson Cty residents. From Hunt to Waters to Vrabel to the taxi/limo drivers, the fans are getting shortchanged. We are expected to sit at home and wait for it all to end and then say “thank you” for the eventually return. Sorry but what else have we to vent about.

  • March 14, 2011  - Tim says:

    Sorry, but as much as I like & respect Brian Waters, he’s wrong on this one IF the elements of the owner’s offer were mostly accurate. Trying to force owners to give them data they’re not ENTITLED to is a deal-breaker…especially when its not necessary. It would appear the main reason they want that data is to justify the extra money the owners want off the top for the stadium issues. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, or need that much detailed data, to know that trying to refurbish existing stadiums, or build new ones, costs A LOT of money! There are several teams needing those right now. The economic environment for the forseeable future is very poor with regard to taxpayer dollars going in. This means a pool of money must be created from the game itself to do this. The owners lowered their demands significantly. Perhaps, what they could do to compromise is have the off the top money not be taken off the top UNTIL its actually committed to contractually for a particular facility/facilities. Until it is, it goes into the pot to be split somehow.

  • March 14, 2011  - el cid says:

    Judge Doty has another shot at getting these guys together. Just a thought, judgey, how about whatever you decide add a clause that prevents any person have a recognizeable/elected in the old “de-certified” union from having any position in any future player’s union except as a voting member. That is correct, they will actually have paid a price for their lack of success. After all you would not let the owners use their slush fund to fight the union, only seems fair to me.

  • March 14, 2011  - napahank says:

    When this Smith guy first took over the NFLPA I knew there would be trouble. As for Waters, Vrabel and the lot, they should leave their expertise to playing the game and not trying to “manage” the business of football. These players are “out of their league” (pardon the pun).

  • March 15, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Dee Smith looks and sounds over matched. I think he tries to look grown up with his silly hat. Gene Upshaw has to be spinning in his grave.

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