Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms

Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms


ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have joined some 20 other teams and voted Thursday night to give the NFL Players Association the right to decertify as a union if there is an owners lockout next year in the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Raiders players met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith at the team's compound and tight end Zach Miller, Oaklands new union rep, confirmed the vote.

"Keep negotiations going," Miller said of the plans and hopes. "I know everybody wants to avoid a lockout and the players definitely want to get something done, and as early as possible. We'd like to have some certainty for next year."

Allowing the union to decertify would give the players not only the right to sue the NFL if there is a lockout, but essentially gives them a right to work without a CBA since antitrust laws do not allow for unions negotiating for a new CBA to sue its employers.

"Decertification, we don't want it to end up there," Miller added. "We would rather have our CBA done before then. It's our answer if the owners prove to lock us out. That's our answer for them if they want to take that step. But we want to keep working on the CBA and get something done before it comes to that."

Raiders special teams standout Rock Cartwright took to Twitter Thursday night, writing, "Why are ESPN, NBC, CBS, funding the lockout of NFL for nxt year..? Why are they taking Our health care in march!!? All players.. No healthcare.. We lay it on the line every Sunday.. They are trying to cut salaries 18 and add 2 more games to the schedule.. Really?"

Cartwright later added: "Dear NFL fans.. As of right now there will be a lockout next year" There not only locking out players.. It's the people that work at the stadiums who this hurts more.. Those people do so much for the game, I just want people to know.. If we play no football nxt yr.. The owners still get the from the TV contracts.. Billions!!"

Before jumping on the team charter to Pittsburgh, Cartwright stood behind his posts.

"Talking with DeMaurice Smith, it's basically like, they're not even close on the collective bargaining agreement," Cartwright said. "They're still a lot of money away. Like he said, it's basically just been a stall.

"A lot of people don't really know what's going on, the whole situation so I told people to go to to find a little bit more about what's going on. It's tough, man. It's just tough. Maybe I was a little bit, I'm an emotional person so I kind of let my emotions get the best of me (but) I want to get it out there to let people know what's going on."

Smith visited the 49ers Wednesday night and they also voted to decertify.

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”