GM Bruce Allen: Lockout “difficult but necessary”
The rhetoric is flying now that the NFLPA has decertified and a lockout officially has begun. Redskins general manager Bruce Allen joined the fray by writing a letter to fans, which the team published today on its website.
Allen attended some of the mediated negotiating sessions leading up to the start of the lockout on March 11. For the record, he’s firmly sided with the owners.
Here’s the letter, in full:
Dear Redskins Fans:
Last Friday, negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association ended without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Unfortunately, the union’s abandonment of bargaining and subsequent decertification led to the league’s difficult but necessary step to lock out, something we tried hard to avoid. We remain committed to getting a new deal done and believe that the fastest way to a fair agreement is through mediation and not litigation.
We share your disappointment with the lack of progress. The offer that the union walked away from was fair and addressed many of the key issues, including a rookie compensation system, enhanced player health and safety measures, improved retired player beneiits and compromises on the union’s financial demands.
Of particular importance to the Washington Redskins were the additional benefits the proposal would have provided to retired players. Our organization is rich in history and we are proud of the men who have contributed to our glorious past and helped create our great fan base that we all benefit from today. The Redskins Alumni continue to play an integral role within our community, and the union’s decision to walk away from a deal that would have benefited our retired players is especially disappointing.
As the home team in the nation’s capital, we understand and respect the political process. However, we feel a deal will be reached at the negotiating table and not with the involvement of Congress. The NFL remains committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process, which is the most effective way to reach a new agreement – one that is good for the long-term future of the game.
We care deeply about our passionate fans of the Burgundy & Gold and we are determined to bring you a winning football team. You should know that the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season or swerve our focus from the Redskins’ objective – WINNING.
We greatly appreciate your support of the Washington Redskins.
Executive Vice President/ General Manager
…Let me know if that makes you feel any better about this mess. For some strange reason, I bet it won’t.