It’s been two days since it was announced that a circuit court had ruled in favor of the owners appeal to have a temporary stay on the players injunction before the anti-trust suit brought against the owners is heard by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 3rd. The ruling was viewed as a significant win for the owners for obvious reasons, as the league remains shut down entirely until the appeals process plays itself out in a St. Louis courtroom next month.
It’s been interesting to hear the reaction from both sides since then. In order to not further alienate frustrated fans, the rhetoric has not been too colorful. But players naturally have expressed their disappointment in the development. Who better on the Houston Texans roster to turn to for his reaction than offensive tackle Eric Winston, one of the league’s most well-spoken and candid interviews?
On Tuesday, Winston joined KILT in Houston to share his thoughts on Monday’s ruling, what it means to the players moving forward, if it changes the objectives and approach that the players will take moving forward, and other Lockout-related topics in a typically solid spot.
What does this week’s court decision regarding the lockout mean for players?:
“It’s not good for the players. That’s something that, if we wanted football immediately, we could’ve got it and we didn’t. … We could’ve been on the field probably within the next two days if that stay wasn’t granted. Now, I think for the long-term view, you’ve got to hope that the stay isn’t part of the overall 8th Circuit’s view of the appeal. You’ve got to hope that they were just basing it on the merit’s of the staying going. … We’re still holding out hope that the 8th Circuit will keep the opinion of Judge Nelson … and not overturn it.”
How would he judge a win or a loss for the players in this particular case?:
“I think we’ve always come in saying we don’t want anything more. … We’re happy with what we’ve got. We feel like 50-50 of all revenue is a pretty fair split in the job description and the sport we have. … Any way we can kind of keep that stick right there where it’s at is some sort of win. Obviously we’ve got to keep working on health issues.”
Does he feel like public opinion has turned on the players?:
“I don’t get any more of that, I just think people are mad at everything right now. They don’t want to hear it from either side; they’re tired of it. … The fans have a right to do whatever they want. If they want to prove their displeasure by going out and booing Goodell at the NFL Draft, then I think they should. If they have a displeasure about this by not showing up to some of the games, then that’s their right. If they want the ownership to know they’re upset about it by not renewing their season tickets, then I think they should probably do that, too. I think some fans, and I understand why, they feel helpless.”