Steelers’ Art Rooney II dismisses poor NFLPA report card results, labels survey as ‘media opportunity’

March 29, 2024


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The NFL Players Association has released the second edition of its team report cards. The report anonymously asks players across the league to weigh in on their particular team’s working conditions.

Everything from the weight room, locker room, and how a players’ family is treated on game days is included in the survey. It included feedback from 1,706 players throughout the league – which equates to more than a 77% response rate, a significant increase from last year’s 60%. 

In a note posted to the union’s website earlier this month, NFLPA President JC Tretter explained that the goal of the survey is not only to highlight the positives of each club but to also identify areas of improvement and educate its members. Some team owners have chosen to use the report to identify areas that need to be addressed, while others have taken a more dismissive approach. 


Art Rooney II looks on before a Steelers game

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II looks on before a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II is among the owners who does not appear to be putting much stock in where his team ranks in the survey. The Steelers came in at the 28th spot out of a possible 32 in this year’s report card. 

In fact, Rooney seemed to attempt to undermine the survey by questioning the NFLPA’s motivation for conducting the report.


“It doesn’t get presented to us, it gets presented to the media, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a media opportunity for the Players Association as opposed to a serious effort of constructive criticism,” Rooney said.

Instead of taking the report card results seriously, Rooney suggested that he prefers to receive feedback directly from the athletes, according to The Athletic.

Art Rooney II looks on before an NFL game

Owner Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 22, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

The Steelers players’ responses about how their families were treated resulted in an F-, while the team’s nutritionist/dietician” was only slighter better, yielding a D. Players also did not appear satisfied with conditions whenever they are required to travel, with the team’s travel environment earning a D, while the locker room produced an F grade. 

But, longtime head coach Mike Tomlin received high marks, earning an A.

Steelers helmet

A Pittsburgh Steelers football helmet prior to the start of the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons on August 24th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.  (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The locker room earned a C last season, while the family treatment category earned a D-. Respondents were more satisfied with travel conditions last year, with the category receiving a B.


The Patriots, Chargers, Chiefs, and Commanders trailed the Steelers on the list. The survey was conducted from Aug. 26 to Nov. 16.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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