Q&A: Falcons star Roddy White defends NFLPA’s position

101024 Atlanta - ONE HANDED CATCH - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White makes a one handed catch against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones for a 1st down during 2nd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010.    Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

101024 Atlanta - ONE HANDED CATCH - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White makes a one handed catch against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones for a 1st down during 2nd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

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

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80 comments Add your comment

Greg Moundine

July 22nd, 2011
11:25 am

Rikus

July 22nd, 2011
11:26 am

Well, at least it’s more positive than D-Smith’s email!

PMC

July 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

Wow, well done Roddy.

Nice interview Darryl Orlando.

B

July 22nd, 2011
11:28 am

Roddy, sign you card. Union up. Play football. Thank you. You are not a coal miner.

BigTimeTechFan

July 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

Nice – Tell Roddy it’s all good,

Jamaaliver

July 22nd, 2011
11:31 am

Sounds like Julio Jones might be in position to contend for Rookie of the year. With the work he put in over the off-season with Matt Ryan, I expect him to be ahead of many of the other high drafted offensive skill players.

Jordan

July 22nd, 2011
11:35 am

With the lockout nearly over, it’s time to look at the Falcons free agents and see who the team should keep and who they should just let move on.

http://isportsweb.com/2011/07/22/atlanta-falcons-free-agents/

Poppa Falcon

July 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

A ten yr marriage is at stake. I’d take my time to make sure that I UNDERSTOOD what I’m about to walk down the isle with myself.

Reid Adair

July 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

Considering that DeMaurice Smith and several players mentioned last night that the owners added things to the collective bargaining agreement that the players had not previously agreed to, I don’t blame the players at all for taking their time.

Greg Moundine

July 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

I am a season ticket holder and I am ready for football, but I have to agree with the players. My wife always orders items online but will not purchase from that company if they do not have a good return policy. If she did not read the policy, she will be stuck with that item. The same actions should be taken by the NFL players. Give them time to read what the owners agreed on and then vote. The decisions the players vote and agree on will be one they will have to live with for 10 years and the players that come after them. Our wants are not their needs! Give them time!!!!!

Greg Moundine

July 22nd, 2011
11:41 am

Well said Poppa Falcon!

Gazoo

July 22nd, 2011
12:02 pm

I’ve just lost a lot of respect for Mr. White. While I enjoy him as a Falcon, he needs to stay away from the media. Let’s go with this, and I quote: “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. Well now Mr. White, PAY ATTENTION here my good friend, because ” THAT WOULD BE THE FANS WHO MADE IT THAT WAY. OUR MONEY, OUR INVESTMENTS, OUR LOYALTY. Where does he think the money comes from that pays the players??? Does he think the owners just poop it out? Rich they are, but that ain’t the case. Hell yes we want our football, and the BS from both sides is wearing thin. I’m almost ready to say let these players go to find a REAL job at OUR wages, and sign former college players who will play cheaper and not bitch. And about half the owners can take a flying also.

Gritz Blitz's annoying cousin

July 22nd, 2011
12:05 pm

Owner’s own a business for a reason, to make money. Employee’s are employee’s for a reason, to do what the owner says so they both can make money. If the employee does not like the owner, find another job.

tt44

July 22nd, 2011
12:10 pm

Just my two cents…I think these players should report to camp on Sat. in good faith, (the deal will get done) Rhoddy is lazy in my opinion…remember when one gets complacent….someone else will step in….hmmmmm can you say Julio…Rhoddy…I am disappointed in you as a team man..you got your $$$$ a few yrs ago by NOT honoring your contract with the Falcons and I would think since you did get YOUR WAY $$$$$ you would be more of an advocate to get the team in camp asap. But, you will NEVER be a leader..you dont seem to have that quality / character. Stay home and get fat and slow…

seattle falcons fan

July 22nd, 2011
12:20 pm

I almost completely agree with Jordan (11:35)’s link….. except Koenon, Peterson, and MAYBE Nicholas……… Because if you don’t resign Nicholas and Spoon goes down again, then what? Bear Woods? Really! Also I think Petersons leadership is very valuable. Last point, we don’t need two punters on the team and we drafted that kid out of Miami.

maddawg913

July 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

Gazoo, Well put!!!!!!!!!…….Roddy, ask baseball what happens when the fans turn there backs.

you need time to review the information?? No one seemed to care when they were ramming health care through and it was a little bigger that 450 pages!!!!!!!!!!

welikebaseball2

July 22nd, 2011
12:32 pm

Gritz Blitz: That’s why unions exist…so owners can’t do whatever they want to do, disregarding the workers that spend their sweat making the business what it is. No sensible billion-dollar business owner would risk dumping their highly skilled (based on job requirements), unified veterans for entry level workers. And therein, my friend, lies the power & purpose of a union.

Habersham Dawg

July 22nd, 2011
12:38 pm

These are skilled professionals who have put years of hard labor into becoming the best in the world at what they do. Their career as professional football players is on average less than four years. For you individuals who are complaining and stating that they need to get a life and get a real job like yourselves, understand, these men (for the most part) could do your job, but there is no way in hell you could do theirs. Give them time to review the proposed contract, digest it, and vote on it. Football will get played, if not, there is college ball, which we in the South love more anyway.

welikebaseball2

July 22nd, 2011
12:39 pm

By the way, I don’t think the players deny that the fans supply the league’s billions. Their point is that, as those billions pass through owners’ hands, it should be distributed in fairer proportions.

elroy

July 22nd, 2011
12:49 pm

i don’t agree with everything roddy stated. unions are as greddy as ever & are the cause for high prices to the consumers/fans. players should sign off on the deal, shut up & play football. By the way, no NBA this year because of their greedy players union.

welikebaseball2

July 22nd, 2011
1:00 pm

tt44: Roddy is simply supporting his union. If you’re disappointmented in him, I’m assuming you’re disappointmented in EVERY player on the team & that you consider EVERY player on the team “lazy.” No one’s reporting. Regarding Julio taking Roddy’s spot…you really think Julio or ANY rookie will do anything other than go with the union? If the vets aren’t there, the rookies won’t be. You do know Ryan’s following the union’s lead too right? So, who’s going to throw the ball to Julio should he decide to go on & play ball?

Nique

July 22nd, 2011
1:07 pm

D-Led

From this interview we see that Roddy wouldn’t be mad, but would vets feel betrayed if rookies go into the building, get playbooks, meet with coaches tomorrow? Because if not & if that’s permissible, every draft pick needs to be in there bright & early in the morning to try to catch up as much as possible!!! Especially Rodgers since he wasn’t able to partake in any of the the player only camps do to school.

Gazoo

July 22nd, 2011
1:12 pm

I’m not complaining. (I can see Habersham Dawg’s comments were directed at me) I’m not saying that they need come do my job at what I get paid, nor anyone else’s, nor am I taking the owners side. Most of them can go attempt an aerial fornication at a rotating pastry product for all I care. My point is, any professional that takes pride in what they do works hard and studies and trains year round to do their job(s) with pride, just like athletes, and I also know that being a football player has it’s inherent risks and possible short span of employment. I also think they should be paid well. But while it is VERY BIG buisness, it is still a game, and it’s voluntary, no GM is going out and forcing these guys to do what they do at gunpoint. What I’m saying is, is for whatever these people are making, on AVERAGE, is better than we ordinary Joe Shmoes make by far. Yes I think the pensions etc. could be better for them and should be, but enough whining. They need to understand that, (And by “they” I mean players, owners and all connected to this league and getting paid) is that sport and their jobs are only possible because of US, the fans. And there is not one single fan I’ve talked to that is not pretty much disgusted by all of this. Do my job? Some of them sure, but not most. Can I do theirs? Some of those positions, sure, but not very many. So that’s fair. And I also know that the pay/contracts vary quite a lot, and a lot of guys (Young PS and ST guys mostly) are not making much more than most of us. I can see why they would have their ears perked up by these negotiations. But for the point, players are NOT out there 24/7/365 busting their humps for lower pay like most (But not all) of us. AND we are spending our money to pay for those checks they get. So if anyone in the league doing whatever it is they do from the commish and owners all the way down to punters, want a little sympathy, chuck ‘em a dictionary, it’s somewhere there between sh*t and syphilis and must of us are sick of hearing about it. We’ve all got a family to feed ourselves, and we do it with less money and with less angst.

Maurice

July 22nd, 2011
1:12 pm

You are missing the point @elroy,Gazoo, and Gritz Blitz. They had a union it was decertified. They should only re-certify on their own terms. Not the owners. Just shut up and play football? Really? You all do realize this lockout is only in place because of the owners right? The owners couldn’t come to an agreement on how to divide the money. The players have stated what they have wanted and needed all along. The Owners are the ones who at the last minute signed a proposal then gave an ultimatum on when the NFLPA should re-certify. Right. OK. It took you 120 plus days to agree on a CBA and you’re giving the players 4 days to look over 450 page document sign it and re-recertify. OK. Don’t hold your breath.

welikebaseball2

July 22nd, 2011
1:13 pm

Oops, meant to say “disappointed”…stupid phone…LOL

Maurice

July 22nd, 2011
1:21 pm

Gazoo. You are complaining. The difference with most lower paying jobs and theirs is the union. I couldn’t go to my job and demand more pay and better wages because nothing protects me if I did that. The NFLPA protected the players. It’s annoying for all of us on the outside looking in. So being on the outside we have no idea why all the owners couldn’t come up with a deal until Thursday. We just know they didn’t agree with some of the things the players wanted.

TB

July 22nd, 2011
1:28 pm

To all Players… Football is entertainment for the here and now. So get back on the field, stop complaining, collect your $$$$ and let the fans be entertained! Now you can do that and be very successful in life or you can go get a job at Walmart making minimum wage. The choice is your.

CJ

July 22nd, 2011
1:47 pm

I support Roddy and the players. However, looks like Roddy should get a little more support when he’s playing, I’m not referring to his fellow players!

Cap Crazy

July 22nd, 2011
2:37 pm

Revenue sharing for fans via a price cut. Fans, not players, are why it is a 9 billion industry.

elroy

July 22nd, 2011
2:42 pm

@ maurice-i like the move by the owners. the players have been paid well & will continue to. if the players don’t like it, retire & move on to another profession. there is no good reason to reject the deal so the players should accept, SHUT UP & PLAY!

Hawk

July 22nd, 2011
2:52 pm

Nique

July 22nd, 2011
2:55 pm

Really Tim???

& what makes your name any less, (to use a tense of your word) idiotic? Is it the fact that it’s more common, or is it that it’s been accepted/embraced by mainstream society, more specifically white America? People kill me with these sort of racist inflammatory comments, especially when they’re made so passively, as if you or any other person for that matter has the authority to devalue or attribute value to something based off of your own preferences. Who are you to call a name stupid based specifically off of your opinion? Because I’m sorry if you didn’t know, but that’s all that is, your preference for Eurocentric originated names. You don’t know the story behind that man’s name; it could have real significance & deep meaning. Regarding your racism, some people can’t & don’t want to be helped & there are way too many people who fall into both of those categories for me to worry about addressing issues around that every time an example manifests itself, so that’s simply on you. However, to let your comments just go as if it weren’t made or as if it was ok, regarding Roddy’s name & more specifically what you deem to be the “idiotic” propensities of black parents when it comes to naming their children, now that just wasn’t an option!

Fan

July 22nd, 2011
3:03 pm

The players did not get their part of the CBA on-time too make a decision. They need time too know what they are signing and what it means too them and their families.. Neither side is not getting over on the other.. ESPN & NFL Network is making specials and pushing this situation out of control.. I would not sign my name on anything without reviewing it… This is what is going on that is all..Football will be great on Saturday when the players sign the new CBA…The media has turned this situation aganist the players and owners and making the fans point the fingers but guess what… USE YOUR COMMON SENSE HERE

jerry

July 22nd, 2011
3:05 pm

Good thing ol’ Henry Ford is not an owner. He’d have their asses shot.

tt44

July 22nd, 2011
3:07 pm

Hey Habersham Dawg…Bite me!

tt44

July 22nd, 2011
3:11 pm

W L basebeall…..U are misunderstanding me… all I am trying to make as my point …is Rhoddy really didnt support the other players that tried (even if it was for show) to run and catch passes earlier this summer…he showed up once or twice I believe…so, in that aspect is my thoughts about his attitude….( Matt R was there, Julio was there…among other players…so why wouldnt a team oriented player want to be a part of passing drills to polish, get the rust off? Know why? Rhoddy is all about air conditioning and $$$$!

eastbound and down

July 22nd, 2011
3:31 pm

Timmy … Roddy is a nickname. If it is his name, he must have legally changed it from the one his parents gave him. in case you are interested, you might be interested in changing yours to something more appropriate, like santorum here is link where you can find the definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_%22santorum%22_neologism

nojazz

July 22nd, 2011
3:36 pm

Hey Roddy

Are you going to talk trash before yall play the Saints this year? I didn’t think so!

Yeahsure

July 22nd, 2011
3:39 pm

Yeahsure

July 22nd, 2011
3:40 pm

That was directed @TIM

welikebaseball2

July 22nd, 2011
3:44 pm

@Yeahsure: LOL…good one!

gclcpa

July 22nd, 2011
4:14 pm

@Reid Adair – Read the e-mail again. It says that “class counsel (i.e. NFL lawyers) and the NFL agreed to.” Why they wouldn’t ratify an agreement they already agreed to is beyond me. I guess they just want to have the last word, huh? Whatever.

gclcpa

July 22nd, 2011
4:14 pm

I meant to say NFLPA lawyers.

Jimmy

July 22nd, 2011
4:17 pm

The problem here is quite simple: distrust and miscommunication.
The players distrust the owners and the owners failed to communicate clearly.
The deal the players have is, as most observers believe, a very good one.
The owners mistake was assuming too much based on their talks with the NFLPA.
I think now cooler heads have prevailed and the union will recertify this weekend.
We will lose another week of the preseason, but that won’t be a great loss.

Jimmy

July 22nd, 2011
4:25 pm

One thing that stands out for me in this standoff–
It is as if these guys are playing a fiddle while Rome burns.
The unbelievable disconnect Roddy has with the economic suffering all around him–
His disconnect with the fans who are losing their jobs or can’t get jobs is sad.
He seems to believe none of that has anything to do with the $9 billion dollar product of the NFL.
People who support unions should be OUTRAGED at his comments.
Unions are supposed to be about helping the downtrodden…protecting the little man.
Roddy’s comments show his only concern is for his brothers in football.
The fans are of little consequence.
This is why so many criticize the players.
This whole battle is rich against rich.

Paddy

July 22nd, 2011
5:10 pm

White did well in this interview. But one thought Roddy. Don’t ever say the fans do not understand. They do understand. It was just like our president said this week, “people don’t undrstand real politics”. Yes we do!!!!! We understand both. We just like football better.

ToccoaBird

July 22nd, 2011
5:24 pm

Could it be the players just don’t want to practice in this heat? It was all a done deal then BAM this happens?

markie mark

July 22nd, 2011
5:40 pm

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

Hey Roddy….this may come as a shock, but its been the Joe Schmoes like me for the last 40 + years that made this game a 9 Billion dollar product. You need to get real. I was paying to watch this probably when you were in short pants and knee socks….geez….

Em

July 22nd, 2011
5:50 pm

Right on markie mark. Screw the union. Again, if not for the fans spending their money, who most fans don’t make millions, spend their hard earned money to go WATCH FOOTBALL! I don’t believe fo a minute D-Smith didn’t know what the owners where voting on. I don’t see how these million dollar players can even see how they are owed a share of the profits. HELLO…..they signed the contracts and now that they see a chance to get more money they SCREW THE FAN WITH A LOCKOUT!

jerry

July 22nd, 2011
6:28 pm

I don’t know why White doesn’t trust management. They have never been know to be untruthful when dealing with unions.