AAF Issues Statement After Receiving Fierce Criticism for Treatment of Players: 'We Are Very Sorry'


After suspending its inaugural season earlier this week, the Alliance of American Football came under heavy criticism for the how it abruptly shut down and how it treated its newly unemployed players.

Now the AAF wants everyone to know that it is sorry.

That was the message the league delivered in a tweet late Friday night. The unsigned letter apologized for the way the season prematurely ended just eight weeks into the regular season.

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“This week, we made the difficult decision to suspend all football operations for the Alliance of American Football,” the AAF said. “We understand the difficulty that this decision has caused for many people and for that we are very sorry. This is not the way we wanted it to end, but we are also committed to working on solutions for all outstanding issues to the best of our ability. Due to ongoing legal processes, we are unable to comment further or share details about the decision.

“We are grateful to our players, who delivered quality football and may now exercise their NFL-out clauses in our contract. We encourage them to continue pursuing their dreams and wish them the best. We are grateful to our fans, who have been true believers from the beginning, and to our world-class partners. And to the Alliance coaches and employees who devoted their valuable time and considerable talent to this venture, we are forever grateful.”

Do you think the AAF should do more for its players than an unsigned letter?

No person’s name is attached to the letter, which raises even more questions as players and fans are left to guess as to who wrote it.

According to NBC Sports’ “Pro Football Talk,” it is believed that chairman Tom Dundon wrote the letter as he was the one who wanted to suspend operations.

The league’s co-founders, Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol, weren’t in agreement with Dundon’s decision, and Polian has made it clear he didn’t like the way things ended.

“I’m no longer employed, like most of the football people — we’re all out of work,” Polian said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, according to PFT. “I’ve been doing what I can over the last couple days to help everybody get situated as best I can. …

“It came so quickly — some of it was a little bit expected, but a lot of it was unacceptable.”

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The AAF’s Twitter account made no official statement regarding the league’s suspension this past Tuesday.

This “we’re sorry” letter was just the second tweet the account has made since the suspension. The other post was echoed in this letter, announcing AAF players had permission to sign with NFL teams.

Not only are all of the AAF players and employees without jobs, but there are still outstanding issues that need to be resolved.

Rich Ohrnberger, a broadcaster for the San Diego Fleet, detailed many of those issues that former AAF employees are now facing.

Fortunately, some players were able to escape the mess and latch onto NFL teams. Keith Reaser was the first to jump from the AAF to the NFL as he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, and several other players have moved on to the NFL since.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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