New Orleans Saints & Minnesota Vikings Players Send Union Message To NFL Owners
Players for both the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings stepped onto the field in a show of union solidarity before the start of the NFL season kickoff by raising one finger in the air.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a member of the NFLPA executive board, said the effort was coordinated to send a message to the NFL that the players are united in their current negotiations for a new CBA. There are hopes that the gesture will catch on and other teams will do the same prior to their games.
“Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others’ heads in,” Brees said, “we’re all one voice.”
The players stepped about 10 yards onto the field from their sidelines after the national anthem and held their index fingers aloft. It came hours after NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said he wants to intensify talks with the NFL and get a new deal in place by November.
The current CBA expires after the 2010 season, and the possibility for a work stoppage exists.