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NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith discussed the NFL concussion settlement, the NFL's stance on medical marijuana use, players' health and safety, and Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman, in an interview that was broadcast live, today, Jan. 29, 2014 on CBS This Morning (7:00-9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network.
In a web-extra interview with co-host Gayle King, Smith responded to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's recent comments on the show that Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman's actions "took away from the team."
Smith told King, "I respect Roger, but he's wrong," adding, "There is never going to be a day when Richard Sherman is going to do something that's going to take away from the game."
Excerpts of the interview are below. Watch the appearance below:
CHARLIE ROSE: DeMaurice Smith is the Executive Director of the NFL Players Association. So what did you think about that report we just ran about Northwestern?
DEMAURICE SMITH: First, my hat's off to the players at Northwestern and their quarterback Kain Colter. I'm not sure that I've met a young man who was as brave and has the vision of a player like Kain Colter.
ROSE: So are we moving to the point where college players get paid?
SMITH: I don't know. I think that whether that happens or not, the real critical question is what is the best way for college athletes to protect their rights? And that's always going to be through collective actions. So whether it's the sleeping car porters from years ago or whether it's the women's movement, in order to attain the right to vote. You can only do that if you can collectively come together to protect their rights.
GAYLE KING: Do you think they make a good case?
SMITH: I think they make a great case. Look at the three major issues, to me, in college sports. One, you can play a college sport and leave with injuries that aren't covered by any sort of insurance. You can get four-year renewable scholarships. But also like these players, some of them live below the poverty line, even though the sport they're playing in makes their college millions and millions of dollars.