On Wednesday afternoon, Matt Stover sent a letter to ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen that sought to clarify his stance on the perceived matter that he is attempting to convince fellow members of the NFL Players Association to oust Gene Upshaw by March 2009. The following is a copy of that email:
I wanted to write you to clarify my leaked e-mail to you. As my intentions are clear to many of my fellow reps, it has come to my attention that some clarity is needed to ensure a public accurate accounting. The following are some points that I believe will make clear my original intentions in writing this memo to my fellow reps and the Executive Board.
It is not, and has never been, my intention to "oust" Gene Upshaw. Gene has done a remarkable job in leading the players for over 2 decades. My goal is to be prudent and have a process intact to allow the Executive Committee the ability and confidence to offer various options to the Board of Reps as a whole. The inevitability of the end of Gene's tenure is approaching this generation of players, which may create some uncomfortable issues to deal with. This suggested process was originally supposed to aid in dealing with those issues by taking some of the pride, emotion and ego out of all parties involved, and empowers the Executive Committee to follow guidelines with benchmarks and aid in producing a majority backed consensus.
This topic of succession within the NFLPA has been discussed for the past 2 years, at the minimum. I have been witness to other Reps. broach this subject with Gene and past Executive Committee members, and the issue garnered zero traction toward a satisfactory answer. Thus, my secondary goal for this e-mail was to create immediate dialogue between Gene, the Executive Committee and the Board of Reps in the search of that satisfactory answer.
My involvement as a Player Rep. and Executive Committee member for the past 16 years has always been about what is best for our organization, and nothing else. You have to remember, I represent the guys who have voted me in over the years, my fellow Ravens/Browns teammates. Further, I have always supported my fellow players, reps. and NFLPA staff in the hopes of adding to our cause. There is no ego, selfish agenda or an overabundance of pride associated with my suggestion for a succession process. This is what I feel, as the Player Rep. for the Baltimore Ravens, is best.
Thank you for your time and understanding.
-- Matt Stover
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2008 – 3:20 PM
Ravens kicker Matt Stover unintentionally became a big story around the NFL today, when a copy of a private email regarding the NFL Players Association was obtained by ESPN.com.
In light of these developments, Stover offered this statement:
"I'm going to respect the process of our union leadership, executive committee and players reps. I choose to handle this matter privately. It was certainly not my intention for my private email to a select group to become public."
Unfortunately, that email did become public.