Senators tell NFL, union to clean up their own mess

For months, the NFL Players Association has been laying the foundation for a political assault on the NFL in the event that the current labor issues result in a work stoppage.

And the politicians are already getting sick of it.

According to CNBC, via SportsBusiness Daily, two Senators have sent letters to the two sides urging that they resolve the situation quickly.  The letters come from a pair of Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and George LeMieux of Florida.

Graham points out that “[b]oth your organizations have been canvassing Capitol Hill seeking
support for your position should there be a labor dispute next spring.”  Graham also writes, “I
encourage you in the strongest possible terms to settle your dispute
without congressional involvement.”

It’s hard to tell whether the development favors one side or the other.  The fact that the letters urge a new deal by the end of the year meshes with the NFLPA’s overall agenda.  The fact that the letters come from Republicans could be regarded as an indication that, if the union doesn’t quit trying to finagle political leverage against the NFL, the players’ interests would suffer in an legislatively-imposed solution.

Either way, it’s another reason for the two sides to spend some time between Thanksgiving and Christmas conjuring a little mutual goodwill.  We’ll supply the eggnog.

43 responses to “Senators tell NFL, union to clean up their own mess

  1. Is there a way, since most of the stadiums are taxpayer funded, to sue the two sides if they don’t settle based on grounds that the facilities we paid for aren’t getting the money expected?

  2. Its bad for the union because republicans will probably win the house which means Demaurice Smith won’t have his buddy Obama to ram through anything and the whining from unions who are already spending millions against republicans for the election wont matter for anything to republicans.

  3. De Smith chaired a committee on Obama’s transition team, was an active fundraiser and contributor to his campaign, and is considered by the president to be a personal friend.
    Letters from the congressional minority to the NFL/NFLPA are irrelevant, especially considering the president’s propensity to interfere in private business and labor matters independently of congress (seizing assets, taking ownership, firing CEOs… why shy away from a little show of power with the NFL?)
    They can send whatever letters they like, but just like with Obama’s agenda, the Republicans don’t have the votes to stop anything, and the ruling party loves to throw their big government weight around.

  4. At the end of the day, I hope this costs the NFL and the players a lot. You guys know what the brass tax is here?
    I’ll break it down for you.
    The NFL is very wealthy. The players are very wealthy.
    The problem? Each side wants to be more enriched than the other. And they wonder why the public isn’t sympathetic.

  5. Congress has far more important things to worry about than a petty dispute between the NFL and NFLPA.
    Both sides need to get their shyte together and get this worked out asap!

  6. Umm for some reason you say that Republican involvement will lead to a bad situation for players? Yo mean they won’t allow them to systematically steal more money from the owners and the fans? I know this is an NBC site, but leave the lies and political nonsense at the door.

  7. Auz says:
    October 14, 2010 1:57 PM
    Busch1724-I like your idea! Zaggs-Are you kidding?
    Why would he be kidding? The GOP is going to take House and probably the Senate. Thats just a fact.

  8. Playmaker’s Dealer – Um…Carolina Panthers are in Charlotte, which is right on the NC/SC border. No, not directly in SC, but close enough for economic impact. Florida, you may recall, has three NFL teams within its borders.

  9. Florio, what exactly do you mean that urging the two sides to get a deal done quickly favors the NFLPA agenda? Last I checked the NFL is just as interested in getting a deal done sooner than later. Neither side wants a workstoppage, because both sides will take a financial hit. Not to mention that since the consensus is that the NFLPA is the one that is planning on decertifying the union and dragging the battle into Congress / Court, it would appear that the letters are aimed directly at Smith telling him that he better switch his focus to bargaining the best deal he can.

  10. Dear God! If the US Congress tells you to “Clean up your own mess” you really should have a hard look in the mirror.
    Things this is akin to:
    Mike Tyson telling you your Tattoo is “Over the top”
    Lindsay Lohan mentioning “You are drinking a lot lately, you might want to slow it down a touch”
    Christine O’Donnell telling you to “Be more forward thinking”
    Wow. Reality check time NFL/PA!!! Make it happen, do a deal!

  11. # Zaggs says: October 14, 2010 1:49 PM
    Its bad for the union because republicans will probably win the house which means Demaurice Smith won’t have his buddy Obama to ram through anything and the whining from unions who are already spending millions against republicans for the election wont matter for anything to republicans.
    Zagg: try and find out how much unions contribute to political campaigns in comparison to corporations.
    if you succeed it may save us from wasting time with talk radio noise when we’re looking for football gossip

  12. Playmaker’s Dealer says:
    October 14, 2010 1:58 PM
    Funny that it came from Senators of states w/out pro football fans.
    Florida has fans. There all Jets and Giants fans. No one cares about the Dolphins, Jags, and Bucs though.

  13. @ Playmaker’sDealer
    I hope your not serious… If so your not a “pro football fan”
    Miami Dolphins
    TampaBay Buccaneers
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    Carolina Panthers
    (Yes they reside in Charlotte NORT CAROLINA, however i assume a work stoppage would affect residents in both states.)

  14. Busch1724: brilliant. I’m disappointed in myself for not thinking the same thing.
    Zaggs’ dream last night…
    Obama: Yo yo yo, whad’up, Dem?
    Demaurice: Asalamalakum, my brother.
    [at this point inject any other possible stereotype]

  15. Busch1724,
    To answer your question in a word… No. The taxpayers would have to take up their grievances with the politicians that approved the transactions. The NFL teams enter into legally binding contracts with the local municipalities, as long as they don’t violate their contracts their is no legal recourse against them. As long as the teams continue to make their rent / debt payments on the facility as scheduled they are legally safe. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a club or two actually have payment deferral clauses in the event of a work stoppage, but once again that would be on the city / county or whatever entity agreed to those terms.

  16. Most of the Congress will be replaced by then anyway, why should they care to get involved now?
    Groundswell on Nov.2

  17. @connie
    – You apparently watch to much television and don’t understand the concept of fascism.
    -Yes we can!
    / eye roll

  18. This story is nothing about nothing. Beyond the fact that a couple of the comments above are flat-out wrong (i.e., the ludicrous notion that there is an “Obama agenda” bent on govt takeover of everything), there is no indication of any position of the federal govt in the matter, whether on the part of Congress, the Executive, or either political party. In fact, that is exactly what the senators are telling both sides — the NFL/NFLPA labor dispute does not rise to the business of government… so stop lobbying Congress and resolve your own problems on your own!

  19. @Playmaker’s Dealer –
    You better be making a joke about the lack of support they give, because at face value that statement couldn’t be more wrong.

  20. @Greenman
    I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t a “fact.” The house is looking like it is going to go back to the GOP, but the senate (thanks to the Tea Party) probably won’t. I’m basing this completely off Gallup polls. Before you question my political leanings, I want clones of me in every seat of congress. That is the only person I would feel totally comfortable voting for.

  21. Since no one here is *truly* following the senate and house races:
    The Republicans will likely pick up a plurality in the House. There are some 40 odd seats that are, at the moment, very tight races and could go either way. 218 seats are needed for a majority, and if the election were to happen today they’d get less than that.
    The GOP will likely pick up six seats in the Senate; it’ll like be a 48/46 split favoring Democrats with 2 independents. There’s no telling how that will break out though, since Miller (R-AK), O’Donnell (R-DE), Paul (R-KY) have lost some clout by opening their mouths and same some ridiculous things and they might not even get to 46.
    The GOP may very well grab six governors seats, though. How that affects anything is anyone’s guess.

  22. @ psv
    Are those NPR or MSNBC poll numbers your are citing? Most polls indicate the Republicans take over the majority in the house easily. The Senate might be a different story but to blame it on the Tea Party smells like MSNBC or NPR ignorance.

  23. The last thing the taxpayers are going to stand for is for the government taking time to referee a battle between groups of millionaires. The bank bailout worked so well. Can’t wait for the NFL bailout.

  24. Once a person or organization brings in the government, any government, you now have a partner for life in the decision making process. This should be the last place the two parties should turn to. Any short term gain will be followed by a lifetime of hassle.

  25. Florida, you may recall, has three NFL teams within its borders.
    Yep, and none of those 3 can sell tickets. Worst pro sports fans in the country: Miami (by far) Phoenix and Atlanta.
    And yes, I’m aware of South Carolina’s geographic location. And again, the Panthers can’t give away tickets.
    Obviously I was being sarcastic, but there’s a lot of truth to it too.

  26. Thats because the Senate is on the way out and need to worry about their own jobs. Politicians are humans and likewise, effected by their own interests.

  27. In & Out Burger says:
    October 14, 2010 2:46 PM
    I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t a “fact.” The house is looking like it is going to go back to the GOP, but the senate (thanks to the Tea Party) probably won’t. I’m basing this completely off Gallup polls. Before you question my political leanings, I want clones of me in every seat of congress. That is the only person I would feel totally comfortable voting for.
    That makes you not only more of a retard than I gave you credit for, but a narcissistic retard.
    In basic (tard-friendly) terms, you are really thrilled with shiny objects–but mostly so you can look at yourself.

  28. The last thing any of us should want is the government getting involved in our beloved football league. This is the most corrupt, incompetent group of politicans we have ever had. And its both parties that are an embaressment including this President. they cant do anything right, and they cant agree on anything anyway. The last thing we should want is them getting involved in a sports league.
    Its obvious the GOP is going to wind up back in majority come November, at least in the House. the Senate may wind up with a slight Democrat majority. This is based on the current polls. This will lead to nothing getting done. And its very bad news for a labor union. Republicans hate labor unions, because theyre the one thing in this country even more corrupt than the Republican party. Good luck with that NFLPA. If I were them id instead be writing letters asking Congress to please stay away form this battle

  29. @Dopeboys
    RCP. They take averages of all the polls on a regular basis as they change. The house election is very fluid and could change between now and then. As I said before, as of today, and since the last post the numbers have changed yet again. Numbers range between 32 pick ups all the way 72.
    The House is extremely fluid. The Senate is not.

  30. 99 times out of 98, more government is NEVER the solution, when 11 times out of 10, government was usually the cause of the problem to begin with.
    What’s the opposite of “PROGRESS”?
    For the mid-terms, I don’t care if the Wicked Witch of the West’s hordes of horrible flying monkeys get elected–they can’t be any worse than the lame, lazy, lying, greedy, corrupt, self-indulgent, ineffective, disingenuous, pandering criminal scumbags who are currently ruining this country, can they?
    Don’t we all agree?
    Politicians have more important things they should be doing right now:
    Stealing our money,
    buying Union votes,
    paying off constuencies,
    raising taxes,
    making backroom deals in exchange for votes, declining job offers from Owebama,
    fathering illegimate children to their mistresses while their wives die of cancer,
    fleeing the scenes of accidents wherein young girls have been killed,
    spending our children’s futures (or selling them to the Chinese),
    telling us how selfish we all are for wanting to keep our earned income,
    dismantling any last vestiges of the free market system,
    wiping their fat as$es with the Constitution, and so on.

  31. the top 1% want MORE!!!
    The Owners figure the players should be grateful to be playing football in front of adoring fans.

  32. Good for the senators. I want them focusing on fixing this country and worrying about real problems, not if we have NFL in 2011 or not.

  33. This is all just noise. The league has tried for an antitrust exemption several times, and been shown the door every time. I don’t know how the PA could possibly have approached Capitol Hill for support — getting any kind of helpful law passed would take years, whereas their legal position in the courts is pretty iron-clad.
    Once the PA decertifies, the owners are completely screwed. Players with contracts have to be paid. RFA’s can petition for a declaration that their restricted status is illegal, and any rookie afraid of going #1 and being stuck in Buffalo for five years can similarly seek a declaration that the draft is illegal. Given the prior anti-trust decisions in football, it’s not obvious that the NFL would even oppose them — the law is that clear.
    It’s a non-story, folks.

  34. This web site is totally screwed up. I don’t know what the web masters did to the site but it no longer functions on my computer, no lateral movement bars, advertisements over-lapping subject material. Only way to solve the many problems is reduce the size of the fonts to the smallest size, which are too small to read.

  35. Hmmm….some of my posts aren’t showing up. Am I being censored for calling Graham a RINO?
    If so, time to delete my PFT bookmark.

  36. Grammar note:
    The word “senators” is spelled lower case when used as a pronoun: e.g., “…two senators have sent letters…”
    It’s capitalized when part of a person’s title: “… Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.”
    P.S. I agree DeMaurice Smith is probably angling for some kind of executive order.

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