The NFL issued a strongly worded response Tuesday to the players association's effort to involve Congress in the ongoing negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.
"The union's request for state and local political leaders to intercede in the negotiations ignores and denigrates the serious and far more substantial problems that those leaders, and that state and local workers across the country face," the league's statement says. "We can resolve our own issues as we have done many times in the past but the NFLPA has to want to participate in resolving them."
The NFLPA last week sent letters to Congress, asking for help in preventing an owners' lockout of players next season while emphasizing the economic impact a lockout would have on cities that are home to NFL teams.
The NFL's statement urged the players association to focus less on outside interference in the ongoing labor dispute and return to the negotiating table.
"Nobody -- least of all NFL owners -- wants to shut down our business. The best way to ensure uninterrupted NFL football in 2011 is for the union to stop asking everyone else to solve its problems and to sit down and engage in serious, constructive bargaining. If the union does so, we can and will reach an agreement."
For the the league's complete response and more NFL labor news, visit http://NFLLabor.com.