Friday, April 29, 2011
Grant: Hugging Goodell 'doesn't sit well'
By Kevin Seifert
I literally turned off Twitter during the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night, and I'm thinking about doing the same thing Friday night. My timeline was moving too fast, and I have a very short attention span.
So among the tweets I missed were some pretty strong words from Green Bay Packers tailback Ryan Grant, who was clearly displeased to see drafted players hugging NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at Radio City Music Hall.
Grant: "I absolutely want these guys to enjoy this night.. They worked their butts off to get to this point But to hug the man who.. Literally is leading the campaign for taking money out your pocket doesn't sit well with me ..I might be wrong..But def happy for them."
(Hat tip to ESPN.com blog editor Emily Schaible for flagging the tweets.)
I understand what Grant is saying and from a clinical sense, he's right. If Goodell and the NFL owners get their way, rookies will be allocated a much smaller pool of money for their first contracts.
But draft night is a one-time emotional event for those who gather in New York. Decorum required to go on stage and meet Goodell. Would it have looked any different if they merely shook hands? Should a 22-year-old rookie be expected to subordinate his emotions in service of a labor battle they were joining only at that moment?
It's not as if Goodell was unscathed. Watching on television, it looked like he was initially taken back by the ferocity of the booing he received at what is otherwise one of the most positive events in the NFL year. Perhaps Grant took some solace in that.