As the NFL season opened Thursday night, it might not come as a surprise, but USA Today (among others) have reported that Bryant Gumbel's obnoxious commentary demeaning black NFL players union leader Gene Upshaw as being on a "leash" will not cost him his new job calling football games for the emerging NFL Network.
New NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn't dumping Bryant Gumbel from the NFL Network.Goodell met with Gumbel last week and had "a very good dialogue" regarding his criticism of the league and union chief Gene Upshaw...
For his part, Upshaw is still foregoing comment, but Newsday columnist Bob Glauber notes that he's not holding back against critics echoing Gumbel:
Former Browns defensive back Bernie Parrish is critical of Upshaw's stewardship of the union. "Bryant Gumbel got it exactly right," said Parrish, a founding member of the NFLPA. "I don't think I can say it any better." Upshaw has held his tongue over Gumbel's remarks, but he's furious at Parrish.
"Bernie Parrish is a bald-faced liar with every statement he makes," Upshaw said. "When he got off the conference call we had, he lied about everything that was discussed. He's making statements that I operate the union as a goon squad."...As for Gumbel's remarks, which created a buzz after Tagliabue ripped the recently hired NFL Network announcer, Upshaw won't comment directly. But he did say he has received numerous calls and e-mails of support from Tagliabue, Goodell and several owners and players.
"They've all voiced their support and said the comments were ridiculous," Upshaw said. "I'm not ready to comment. I will one day, but not now."
You'd think a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who had a playing size of 6 foot 5, 255 could just look down at Gumbel and make him take it back.