Goodell, Smith come together for new CBA

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Goodell, Smith come together for new CBA

CSNNE.com Staff Follow @csnnewengland
Roger Goodell and DeMaurice both stood at the podium earlier today to discuss the agreement on a new NFL CBA.

It took a lot of time and effort on both sides -- and a lot of give and take too -- but for the next ten years, that won't be an issue. And perhaps now, the two have a better relationship than they ever have.

"I can tell you that even up to the last minute -- and we'll leave that to the book one day -- even up to the last minute it required both of us coming together to take a stock of what's important and get the job done," Smith said. "So I know that that's going to be our relationship going forward."

"I guess I have to say relationships are built on respect, and "D'" Smith and I have that for one another," Goodell said."

Sure, the CBA has been ratified and "football is back" according to Smith, but there will always be issues that arise and need to be taken care of. The two believe they'll be able to get on the same page when those issues do arise.

"I think as we go forward we've got serious and critical issues to address," Smith said. "I think part of the good news, while we were just a few blocks up the street in March for a couple of hours, we managed to talk about a lot of the things that I think make football better and safer. So I think we have a little bit of a head start on those issues and I think that the faster that we can resolve them the better it is for the game of football and the men who play it.

Before negotiations began, the owners and players didn't seem to be close on many pressing issues. But the deal has been described as "fair" by both sides, as both sides had to shave off certain demands here and there to come to an agreement.

There were no losers at the end, except maybe the fans -- who had to constantly put up with what seemed to be more bad news on a daily basis.

"From the commissioner perspective, we know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months," Goodell said. "They want football, and our job is to give them football. We think through a 10-year agreement here we secured the future of the game to ensure that pledge to bring great football to our fans. i think we have some work to do though to make sure that they understand that we are sorry for the frustration we put them through over the last six months. But our commitment is to bring them better football going forward."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

00:43 - Rob Gronkowski says he's ready to go against the Texans. Michael Holley, Tom Giles and Kayce Smith talk about this risks of him playing while injured.

05:47 - Phil A.Perry follows up the Gronk discussion with a deeper breakdown of Gronk’s decision to play this Sunday.

10:02 - David Price appears to be easing back into baseball after pitching Friday night. Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Price’s outing in Cincinnati. 

16:12 - The BST crew recaps the Red Sox win over Reds. Drellich returns to analyze how the pitchers performed and how that will impact the Red Sox postseason stretch.  

Trump says NFL should fire players who kneel during anthem

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Trump says NFL should fire players who kneel during anthem

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest.

In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

Several athletes, including NFL players, have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest of the treatment of blacks by police.

Trump says those players are disrespecting the flag and deserve to lose their jobs.

“That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” he said, encouraging owners to act.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said to loud applause.

Trump also predicted that any owner who went through with his encouragement would become “the most popular person in this country” — at least for a week.

Trump, who was in Alabama campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange, also blamed a decline in NFL ratings on the nation’s interest in “yours truly” as well as what he described as a decline in violence in the game.

He said players are being thrown out for aggressive tackles, and it’s “not the same game.”

The NFL has made several efforts to reduce violence in the sport, particularly hits that may cause damage to the head. A July report on 202 former football players found evidence of a debilitating brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them. The league has agreed to pay $1 billion to retired players who claimed it misled them about the concussion dangers of playing football.

During his campaign, Trump often expressed nostalgia for the “old days” — claiming, for example, that protesters at his rallies would have been carried out on stretchers back then. He recently suggested police officers should be rougher with criminals and shouldn’t protect their heads when pushing them into quad cars.

It’s also not the first time he’s raised the kneeling issue. Earlier this year he took credit for the fact that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the trend of kneeling during the anthem, hadn’t been signed by an NFL team.

Trump said the protest was the top reason NFL viewership had waned this season.

“You know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem,” he said.

Trump encouraged his supporters to pick up and leave the stadium next time they spot a player failing to stand.

“I guarantee things will stop,” he said.

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