It works in Ramon Foster’s favor that most offensive linemen aren’t well known and rarely grab attention, so when he issues a call for civility to former Steelers players like he did today, it’s seen as a sign of leadership and not a desperate measure by the worst union rep in the NFL.
A few days after former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown took his latest shot at current Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster—and this came a couple of weeks after Brown said the team’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had an “owner mentality”—ex-Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall weighed in on the dynamic between the WR and QB. Then he said Big Ben was racist.
A few hours later, Mendenhall walked it back as some kind of thought experiment on how black athletes are perceived. Bad thought experiment!
This was likely what prompted Foster to issue a statement (using the Notes app) declaring that any “former player or affiliate of the Steelers” could come to him or teammate Maurkice Pouncey if they wanted to settle their issues with people within the locker room who have made them mad. Roethlisberger is so lucky to have two personal flacks working for him.
“Most players at one point in their life want to take their kids back to the place where they once played, don’t burn too many bridges,” Foster wrote. “It’s a long history or brotherhood more than anything, BUSINESS is one thing but let’s keep it at a minimum for the guys who have to answer for those comments moving forward.”
Foster’s plea is a stark change from what he and Pouncey did during the season, while Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was negotiating for a better contract. The two linemen were more than happy to blast their teammate and say the RB should be content because he made more than other players on the team. These guys were the team’s NFLPA reps, and they were trying to get a person they fight for to take less money. (Pouncey is no longer listed as a rep, but Foster still is.) From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time:
“What do you do?” wondered veteran guard Ramon Foster. “Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, I guess, so we’ll treat it as such. I just hate it came to this. He’s making seven times what I made, twice as much as Al [Villanueva] is making, and we’re the guys who do it for him.”
“I really thought Wednesday, trust me, I really did,” Pouncey said. “After a couple of text messages and knowing Le’veon as a competitor who wants to be the best in the league ... but obviously he proved all of us wrong.”
Now that former players are speaking up about the Steelers’ moody degenerate of a quarterback, though, it’s better to keep that stuff in-house, even if the team no longer employs or pays those guys. No player should trust Ramon Foster.