Smith lobbied quite the charge against Goodell.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Relations between the NFL and NFLPA are toxic right now, and NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith’s latest comments are likely to further increase tensions.
In a taped interview for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel set to air Tuesday, Smith outright accused commissioner Roger Goodell of lying about crafting a new personal conduct policy with union input.
“When Roger Goodell can stand up there as he did and say, ‘We’re drafting a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We’re gonna do so in conjunction with the union,’ and then doesn’t consult the union, comes up with a new policy, that says what?” Gumbel asked, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.
“That says he lied,” Smith replied.
Smith’s further comments about Goodell painted a picture of a rather frosty relationship.
“He has a job, and I have a job,” Smith said. “My relationship with Roger I would argue is irrelevant.”
When asked if Smith trusted Goodell, his response was simply “I don’t have the luxury of trust, now do I?”
The NFL’s terse response was simply to blame the NFLPA.
“We repeatedly tried to engage the union but they had no interest in developing a tough and enhanced personal conduct policy,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told HBO.
After a week in which the NFL and NFLPA publicly sparred over the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, these comments are only going to make things worse. If there’s any good news, it’s that there are still four more years before potential labor strife happens, although the signs there aren’t that good either.