This report came out over the weekend and was borderline appalling. The two owners leading the negotiations for the NFL are Jerry Richardson of the Panthers and Pat Bowlen of the Broncos. Suffice it to say, Richardson isn’t winning anyone over in the meeting rooms. Per a radio interview this weekend with NFL Player rep Jay Feeley, a kicker for the Arizona Cardinals, offered this assessment of Richardson.
“When Jerry Richardson…is their lead negotiator for the owners, and he’s going to criticize Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and their intelligence in our meeting on Saturday. And sit there and say dismissively of Peyton Manning, ‘Do I need to help you read a revenue chart son, do I need to help break that down for you, because I don’t know if you understand how to read that.’ That doesn’t go anywhere in trying to help us get a deal done.”
Fantastic. First of all both Brees and Manning are extremely bright guys, so that’s insulting. But just hypothetically imagine the PR nightmare if he’d said that to the wrong guy. I’m sure Manning and Brees were able to avoid really losing it, but another player could have been prone to really break it down for Jerry. That’s condescending and hardly fosters much good will for negotiations.
I mean, starting with the fact that it certainly lends itself to the perception that the owners don’t respect the intelligence of the players. Think about it, they won’t turn over all the numbers, they’re convinced the players couldn’t digest the information even if they could and I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not like they’re giving them a fair shake either.
Also, imagine how much this could have been an issue if Richardson had made that comment to an African-American player and it had come off as a racially motivated statement. That may sound dramatic, but in this day and age things could have really snow-balled in that situation.
The point is it’s a dumb statement, a mean-hearted statement and Richardson should probably be removed from the negotiations as an act of good faith. You know they don’t let Al Davis in the room for fear he might pop off and say something stupid, but Jerry is totally free to do just that? I’d understand if they were making progress, but none has been made.
I’d get rid of Jerry, and for the record if Andrew Luck has ever crossed paths with Jerry Richardson we can now pinpoint exactly when it was he chose to go back to Stanford.