Jeff Saturday Quotes on Passing of Gene Upshaw

C-JEFF SATURDAY (on the passing of NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw) “It’s real sad. Gene was a great leader for us and someone I’ve gotten to know the past few years.

C-JEFF SATURDAY (on the passing of NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw) * *

"It's real sad. Gene was a great leader for us and someone I've gotten to know the past few years. I'm very shocked. We just got off a conference call and heard the latest about what had happened. Gene did not know (that he had pancreatic cancer).  He found out on Sunday, so his family had enough time to get out to him and he was surrounded by his family when he passed. But, it was just a real shocked moment. Obviously, I feel really bad for (Upshaw's wife) Terri and his sons. I just can't imagine what the family is going through."

C-JEFF SATURDAY (on what Upshaw meant to the players)

"I think that any player who has touched our game in the past 20 years has been positively influenced by his leadership. Whether it be raising the minimums for rookies, whether it be for veterans, whether it be for retired players, you name it. If you continue to look back over the past 20 years, he's done nothing but improve our game from the players' perspective. I think everybody can sit back and honestly – some people might criticize certain things he has done – but, overall, I don't think you could've asked for a better leader over the past 20 years."

C-JEFF SATURDAY (on what happens now)

"We are already working. We had a call, and it'll all be released later in the day, but Gene left our organization really strong and in great position. We already know who our Interim Executive Director is going to be. It's already been decided. I'll let them put that out in a release here shortly, but it has been decided. It was a unanimous decision from the Executive Committee and the President. We all agreed. Gene had us set up. As sad as his passing is, he did have things prepared for and so we'll continue to do work as a union and continue to move forward in the collective process."

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