While he's being pilloried in other corners for an alleged antagonistic approach to negotiations, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has the support of his side.
Richardson has been criticized for being condescending toward players during CBA talks, but the league made it clear Tuesday they supported the Panthers owner.
Asked if the recent reports had changed the league's perception of Richardson and his place in the hierarchy (he co-chairs the negotiating committee), league spokesman Greg Aiello's reply was: "No, absolutely nothing has changed."
The 74-year-old Richardson also chaired the 2006 negotiations, which gave away much of the ground the league seems intent on winning back.
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And while there have been reports critical of his handling of high-profile players, specifically Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, owners clearly support his stance.
"There is no more respected owner in the league than Jerry Richardson," New York Giants president and CEO John Mara said Tuesday. "In his role as the co-chair of the owners’ negotiating committee, he brings integrity, the desire to always do the right thing and he has the full respect of all the owners.”
-- Darin Gantt