Reactions from Eagles president Joe Banner and safety Brian Dawkins on the death of NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw. Dawkins is a member of the NFLPA's 10-member executive committee.
Banner: ``Gene never got the credit that he deserved. If you study the (sports) leagues, the position he had of creating a partnership (with the owners) and getting a meaningful majority of the gross revenues, and then focusing on building the (revenue) pot because it would raise the boat for all the players, was absolutely right.
``The other leagues have struggled with popularity and work stoppages and huge disparities between the top-paid guy and the bottom-paid guy. There are teams that can't compete and teams that can in all of the other sports. The NFL has had an explosion in the value of franchises, an explosion in popularity. It's been a total win for everybody. It's hard to imagine there are many other people who would've been in Gene's position and had the foresight to think of this as an option.
``The other thing you had to admire about him was he was unfazed by criticism. He believe in what he was doing. He was like, `I've thought about this. I believe in this.' It's not easy with the constituents he had and the media coverage to stay strong in the light of all the criticism that he got.''