CHANDLER, AZ — You might be wondering why so few players are talking about “DeflateGate” at the Super Bowl.
The answer is simple—the head of the players’ union told them to avoid the topic.
So don’t blame the players for being tight-lipped about this scandal. Blame DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).
“For me, it’s not tough at all,” Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater, the team’s union rep, told Breitbart Sports about avoiding the subject. “Put it on the union and leave it at that.”
Isn’t that a cop out?
“We don’t know all the facts, we don’t know the process of the investigation, we don’t know a lot of things,” Slater said. “It’s foolish to comment on something you don’t know much about, and give misinformation, and that is why we want to stay away from it.”
Slater participated in a phone meeting with Smith prior to the announcement.
“I spoke to De about it—obviously I’m not going to get too much into that, but he told me, that in order to protect us, as players just kind of stay away from it right now and it’s something we can address down the line,” Slater told Breitbart Sports at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona.
Smith’s order also helps the athletes focus on the job at hand, the reason the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are in Arizona, to play in Super Bowl XLIX.
“We just need to focus on the game and let our union and the league handle that,” said Slater, one of the Patriots best special teams players and the son of former Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater.
And you know darn well, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, not a proponent of free speech in his locker room, was ecstatic when he heard Smith’s edict.
Follow Daniel Leberfeld on Twitter @jetswhispers