In a bizarrely worded press release sent to a small group of NFL journalists — and not posted on any official NFLPA account — the NFLPA admitted it changed contract language to the CBA after the players voted.
The press release by the NFLPA came after it received a letter from Eric Reid’s attorney Ben Meiselas this past Monday. The initial letter from Meiselas asked why contract language in the CBA that was given to players to vote on was changed after the vote concluded on March 15, 2020, when the CBA should have been identical.
The change in CBA language deals with Article 60. In the version given to players to vote on, disability benefits were reduced to players who applied for disability after January 1, 2015. In the CBA version posted on the NFLPA website AFTER THE VOTE, disability benefits were reduced for ALL players including those who applied for disability before January 1, 2015.
The NFLPA did not respond to Eric Reid or Meiselas directly, but instead issued a press release yesterday. The press release stated, “It is correct that the final version of the 456-page CBA includes an additional subparagraph with a cross-reference to a section of the Disability plan that the parties had inadvertently omitted in an earlier version. The final CBA corrected the omission. . .”
The NFLPA argued that it had the right to make the change because they claimed it was “not substantive.” The NFLPA claims it discussed these terms with the NFL and some players so even though it was not in the proposed CBA that players were given to vote on, changes after the vote could be made.
Following the press release from the NFLPA, Eric Reid commented on Twitter, “So, what they’re saying is that they changed the language after we voted. Got it.”
Shannon Sharpe meanwhile took to twitter and essentially called for the NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to resign or be terminated forthwith.
When asked whats next from his side now that the NFLPA put out a press response, Ben Meiselas responded with the following: “First I would like to see if the NFLPA Executive Committee stands behind this absurdly weak and embarrassing response where they admit to the change in the CBA but justify it through a hodgepodge of meaningless word salad. If they continue down this path, I have never shied-away from a fight, especially when the lives of disabled players are stake.”