Smith says NFLPA won’t be bullied by Congress on HGH

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith took umbrage with comments made by congressman Elijah Cummings about Human Growth Hormone (HGH) testing today.

Cummings said NFL players could be called to Capitol Hill for a hearing within three months if the stalemate between the league and NFLPA continued to delay an implementation of a testing program.

“Here’s where we are on HGH testing, we agreed with the league that we’d work together to find an HGH test that was not only accurate, but one that afforded the players fair due process,” Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center today. “I certainly was disappointed by Congressman Cummings’ statements earlier today and if there is any body on the planet, who understands ‘put up’ or ‘shut up’ it’s the players of the National Football League.”

Cummings, of Maryland, is the top ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. The committee has been active in attempting to get the NFL and NFLPA to break their impasse.

Both sides agreed to move forward on testing when the new collective bargaining agreement was reached in August of 2011.

“But the realities of it is, when there is the courage from the congressmen to have hearings on things that truly matter like work place safety in the National Football League, or if whether the National Football League should continue to have its non-profit status or whether issues of workmen’s compensation or fair healthcare for our players, when the head of the government oversight committee wants to have hearings on those issues, we’ll be there,” Smith said. “We’ll also be there, if and when he wants to have a hearing on HGH.

“But the reality of this is, the collective bargaining agreement means that both sides have to come to an agreement. And, neither the league, nor anyone else will bully us into a testing regiment that isn’t fair.”

Smith was in Atlanta to receive a Drum Major for Justice Award from the SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc. on Thursday.

Before the banquet, he also attended a youth rally to support the “50 Days of Nonviolence” movement along with Falcons tackle Lamar Holmes and several other retired NFL players, including former Falcons linebacker Chris Draft.

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