Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Roddy White in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-
Constitution on Friday defended the NFL Players Association’s decision not to vote on the agreement that the owners approved on Thursday.
White believes some of the Falcons will report to the building on Saturday, but doesn’t feel the owners were fair in putting a deadline on the NFLPA to re-certify.
Here’s the Q&A:
Q: What do you think about the owners’ ratification?
A: We have to go through the contract and everything. It might take another day or two. You can’t discuss a 450-page contract over the phone in two hours. You can’t do that. Not with 32 reps.
Once we get that done, we can move on from there. That’s just, it is what it is. The deadline thing, I mean we aren’t going to be pressured to be at that deadline or whatever.
They can put that deadline out there. We can only mess this whole thing up by them doing that. We need to be a union by this time or it’s going to be no deal. That would just be stupid and we’d be all the way back at square one.
But I don’t think anybody will do that or risk doing that. I just think they put the deadline out there so that we can get this thing moving.
Q: Do you all just need time to review the information?
A: We just want to digest everything. There are still issues that we have to solve, but we can’t solve them until re-certify as a union again. The CBA is like three-fourths of the way done. We still have a little bit more of it to go because we can’t negotiate without being a union . There is stuff that we have to negotiate to get it done.
Q: Are you surprised by the fans’ negative reaction? I read some of your tweets reacting to a tweet about people are out there starving.)
A: That doesn’t have anything to do with football players. When people say, “people are starving and y’all making millions of dollars.’ Even if you are making $50,000. You aren’t trying to feed all of them just because we’re making millions. This is a billion dollar industry.
There is a lot of money that we’ve got to get going in the right direction. We are not playing this game just for us. We are playing this game for the people who went before us and made this game what it is today and for the people that are going to be into this game.
People don’t understand that. They just are saying I want to watch football right now. In all actuality, that’s not fair to the people that made this game a $9 billion product. Or to the people who are going to enter this game 10 years from now. That’s what we are negotiating for. We are not negotiating for right now.
Q: Will the Falcons report to the building in Flowery Branch tomorrow?
A: I think we’re going to wait until we get done and certify as a union and then we’ll go in the building whenever that time is. When we talk to D. smith and he’s like, when we are a union again we can go about our business as a union again.
Q: Did the union say don’t go to the buildings yet?
A: They didn’t say go to the buildings or nothing like that. There are going to be guys that go to the buildings. It’s going to be good for some guys to go to the buildings anyway because some guys are going to get their playbooks. If the rookies can go there, that will be a really good part of it. So they can go and kind of learn some things before we even get into training camp.
Right now, they are so far behind that I don’t know if any rookie is going to have a chance offensively to kind of come in and contribute to a team with such a short notice. It’s going to be tough for them unless they play defense. You can tell somebody, ‘hey go rush the passer.’ That’s totally different. When you tell people you have to learn play calls, two-minute offense. We run a lot of no huddle. It’s going to be tough.
Q: How is Tyson Clabo doing as the player representative?
A: “He’s doing a good job. He sends the emails every day. We hear from Coy Wire every day. He texts me every day and gives me updates. We are right there. We know what’s going on and everything. We just have to be patient. They gave us a deadline. We are not saying that we are not going to be ready by the deadline. If we are ready by the deadline and we can certify and everything can be clear cut, then we’ll do that by Tuesday. If it’s not ready, we are not going to rush into it and leave no bases uncovered. That’s just what it is.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog