The video exchange between Roger Goodell and a Redskins fan seen below is nearly six months old; it happened in New York last September during a trip involving photo shoots for fans.
But the video was just posted this week, and some Redskins fans have enjoyed watching Goodell answer well-known fan Christie Lopez’s question about the fairness of the league’s penalties against the franchise.
“Okay, it’s actually quite simple, but it may sound a little more complicated,” Goodell said. “When we went into the uncapped year, we told everybody – including the union – that we were going to make sure that competitive issues were gonna be considered when we came out of it. If people got competitive advantages in some fashion by doing certain things in an uncapped year, that would be considered with the labor agreement. That’s exactly what we did. Teams took advantage and dumped contracts into an uncapped year, and got an advantage going forward. That was a competitive advantage. Those are the kinds of things that needed to be balanced in, and the players association and us agreed to that. That’s what we agreed to, and every club was told that in advance. And then the players association were told that that was gonna be a big issue, and we negotiated it. And that’s the simple answer.”
The part that has particularly fired Redskins fans up was this: “the players association and us agreed to that.” Because, of course, the NFLPA actually sued the league for collusion several months before this video was filmed; “Our union recently learned that there was a secret salary cap agreement in an uncapped year,” union prez Domonique Foxworth said in a written statement at the time of the suit.
That suit was dismissed in December, with a judge ruling that the NFLPA “had agreed in 2011 not to bring such a collusion complaint against the league,” according to Mark Maske’s story.
“We respect the Judge’s order, but it does not mean that the owners didn’t collude,” an NFLPA spokesman said in a statement after that ruling.
So did the players’ union and the NFL actually “agree to that” before the uncapped year? Someone asked ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano whether Goodell was simply lying in this video.
“Yes,” Graz responded. “No way did union know beforehand.”