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Making sense of the coming litigation storm

DavidDotyGetty Getty Images

Now that the union has decertified, many of you are wondering what it all means and what will happen next.  As one league source put it moments after the NFLPA went out of business, no one knows — and anyone who says they know is lying.

For now, let’s at least try to make sense of what has happened, and what could occur in the future.

What is decertification?

“Decertification” refers to the union’s decision to cease operations as the collective bargaining representative of the players.  The NFLPA has now become merely a trade association with no power to talk on behalf of the players.  The players are now all non-union workers.

The term “disclaimer of interest” has been used by folks like NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman to characterize the move.  NFLPA spokesman George Atallah tells PFT that, in the NFLPA’s opinion, decertification and “disclaimer of interest” mean the same thing.

Why did the union decertify?

The most immediate goal of decertification is to prevent a lockout, since the owners of 32 separate businesses can’t shut the doors on a non-union workforce without violating antitrust laws.  The league fears that the union will move very quickly to prevent a lockout, possibly seeking (and possibly obtaining) an order forcing the NFL teams to continue to operate — and thus to commence the new league year — by 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Will the NFL oppose decertification?

Presumably, yes.  But the process could be complicated.

Last month, the league filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the union was simply going through the motions in the hopes of unleashing the decertification-and-litigation strategy.  The NFL will surely try to get the NLRB to determine whether the decertification is a “sham” aimed merely at building leverage (which, frankly, it is), and the players will try to have that issue resolved by Judge David Doty.

As we pointed out earlier today, the Collective Bargaining Agreement contains language indicating that, under certain circumstances, the NFL will have waived the “sham” argument, making the union’s strategy far more likely to succeed.

When will the players try to block a lockout?

They could move quickly.  Already, an antitrust lawsuit has been filed.  The lawsuit possibly requests an immediate order preventing a lockout.

The specific dynamics and timetable of the litigation currently remain unknown.  As we suggested last night, Judge David Doty could prevent a lockout while the litigation proceeds.  The lockout also could be blocked while any appeals are pursued by the league or the NFLPA.

As we’ve reported, teams are bracing for the possibility that Judge Doty will issue an order as soon as tonight that a lockout may not occur, setting the stage for free agency to begin at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday.  At this point, no one knows what will happen.

What happens if the attempt to block a lockout fails?

If the NFL successfully prevents decertification or beats back a lawsuit aimed at stopping a lockout after decertification, the league would have the ability to shut down the sport as leverage against the players, in the hopes that the players eventually will decide to do a deal that allows them to get back on the field.

Make no mistake about it — the NFL will try to implement a lockout.  Preventing players from playing, and thus from getting paid, is the league’s ultimate leverage toward a favorable labor deal.  Conversely, letting them play while antitrust litigation unfolds would essentially fund the lawsuit and allow the players to see the case through to a favorable outcome, maximizing their leverage every step of the way.

What happens if the lockout is blocked?

At that point, the league will have to decide on the rules to be applied in 2011.  Any rules used will expose the league to antitrust liability based on the argument that 32 separate businesses can’t come together and agree to rules for “drafting” employees and holding them in place after their individual contracts expire, via RFA tenders or the franchise tag.  Also, a salary cap would potential violate antitrust laws.

The lawsuit could linger for years, but football would also continue.  That’s precisely what happened the last time the union decertified, after the 1987 strike.  The league continued, the players sued, the players eventually won a preliminary judgment, and the two sides struck a deal that became the first Collective Bargaining Agreement to include real free agency rights and a salary cap.

Will there still be a draft?

The only thing we know at this point is that a draft will still occur, from April 28 though April 30.  Even in a lockout, the 2011 draft will happen.

What does it all mean to the fans?

Most immediately, free agency won’t happen until a court order is entered blocking a lockout, or until a lockout is resolved via a new labor deal.  To the extent that fans are rooting for an outcome, they should be rooting for the players’ strategy to succeed, quickly.

If it does, we’ll have a full offseason and football while the fight shifts to the courtroom.

All that said, don’t believe for a second that the NFLPA launched this strategy for the fans.  It was the best move aimed at getting the best deal; the fact that it entails football continuing is coincidental.  Nearly 25 years ago, the NFLPA decided that going on strike was in the players’ best interests.  That time around, they surely didn’t pick a course of action that time aimed at helping the fans.

Frankly, no one really cares about the fans right now.  They pretend they do, but they don’t.  Each side wants to cut its best deal, and none of this is being done for our benefit.

If any other sport was even remotely interesting to me, I’d tell both sides to shove it right now and go find something else to cover.  But those of us who love the sport have no choice but to wait.  Eventually, plenty of us who love the sport could wake up one day and decide they don’t love it any more.

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67 Responses to “Making sense of the coming litigation storm”
  1. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 11, 2011 7:31 PM

    Hopefully not one game will be played this year and the players and owners all go broke

  2. ndgarretjax says: Mar 11, 2011 7:33 PM

    You forgot “Will There Be A Madden ’12?” … and I’m serious haha. I was wondering about the draft, which would affect the game. So since there’s a draft, there should be the game…

  3. nddc21 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:35 PM

    Man, those selfish players! First, they ask their partners in business (the NFL owners) to share financial information! It’s like they wanted to be treated like equals! The gall! The nerve! How terribly un-lofty of them!

    Then, they decertify and sue the NFL ownership, filing injunctions so that they get to play football next year. It’s like they actually want to play, and like they care about providing their product to the fans! The nerve of those guys!

    ///spins bowtie, pantomimes golf swing///

  4. Kave Krew says: Mar 11, 2011 7:36 PM

    I hereby DECERTIFY my status as a fan since the NFL and the NFLPA don’t give a crap about me.

    I am buckled up and ready to ride this banger out……..

  5. thebigolddog says: Mar 11, 2011 7:37 PM

    The most immediate goal of decertification is to prevent a lockout, since the owners of 32 separate businesses can’t shut the doors on a non-union workforce without violating antitrust laws. The league fears that the union will move very quickly to prevent a lockout, possibly seeking (and possibly obtaining) an order forcing the NFL teams to continue to operate — and thus to commence the new league year — by 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

    ************

    What are you talking about? Businesses shut down every day in this country. What law prevents a free man from closing his business? I must have missed the clause in the constitution that forces people to run businesses.

  6. mrf47 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:38 PM

    Perhaps you should change this site to “defunctprofootballtalk.com”.

  7. dvnelson72 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:38 PM

    Why does Doty have anything to do with this now?

    If the CBA has expired and the union has decertified, what binds Doty to the process????

  8. dolphan343 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:40 PM

    Kinda hoping for a long lockout now. Let some of these greedy players professing to care about us fans rot on the vine.

  9. indycolt45 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:41 PM

    Both sides of this issue should be ashamed. I’ll watch on TV, but I’m done spending my money on the NFL. Hope more fans do the same.

  10. jera1234 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:43 PM

    follow english soccer! the original football :). premier league dot com your welcome :)

  11. visnovsky says: Mar 11, 2011 7:43 PM

    Could the league go out of business in order to instill a lockout?

  12. iced107 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:44 PM

    Just wanna point out one thing that seems to be confusing people here.

    The NFLPA is not an actual “Union.” There is no union and union workers.

    The Owners and the NFLPA are considered “Business Partners” in the court of law (including Judge Doty,the one who should be giving a ruling shortly.) Thus, its not the same circumstances.

    Think of it this way – you and your friend go into business, but your friend wants to cut you out a Billion for whatever “legit reason.” You say fine, but show me why (The books) you want to cut us out.

    Folks, this is not the Players revoking football.This is all the owners trying to squeeze another dime.

  13. ravenator says: Mar 11, 2011 7:45 PM

    Solid coverage Mike, you deserve a shiny star for this.

  14. endzonezombie says: Mar 11, 2011 7:47 PM

    “Frankly, no one really cares about the fans right now. They pretend they do, but they don’t. Each side wants to cut its best deal, and none of this is being done for our benefit.”

    First, I don’t see how the fans are affected if the NFLPA strategy is to get Judge Doty to block a lockout and thus have football continue even during litigation. That strategy serves both the players and the fans.

    Secondly, the media can’t formally consider themselves in the category of ‘fan’. It is supposedly an unbiased profession reporting the news. Fans are very biased. So ‘our benefit’ ( media) also has it’s own interests ahead of the fans. If football is not played, footballcentric sites and journalists will surely suffer in their pockets more than fans. Fans might actually save some money.

  15. lawyermalloy says: Mar 11, 2011 7:47 PM

    Who Cares?

  16. hobartbaker says: Mar 11, 2011 7:47 PM

    “It’s MY world now,” giggled Old Dotty maniacally, “all of it! Here sits the Hammer of Thor!”. The light reflected strangely off of his spectacles and there was a sheen of sweat on his lip.

  17. penguininbondage says: Mar 11, 2011 7:49 PM

    Another scumbag union that will ruin what was a good sport. The teams should let them play but pull all the perks. No meals, no clean uniforms etc:.

  18. thevikes85 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:49 PM

    i agree with indycolt45,i will watch from home,no more trips from ireland to minnesota,to be overcharged for beer and food when i get to the game along with the prices of the jerseys,i will remain a fan but will no longer fill their pockets with money screw both the players and owners

  19. truvikingfan says: Mar 11, 2011 7:49 PM

    In the end, it all comes down to the greed of billionaire owners and millionaire players.

    A 9 BILLION dollar pie can EASILY be cut to provide PLAENTY for eveyone, but all of those involved want more. Its all about the greed folks…..Nothing more, nothing less.

  20. sc2115 says: Mar 11, 2011 7:50 PM

    Its disgusting how many idiot posters her are just reflexively ripping the players without looking at the reality of the situation. The owners are not innocent in this, nor are they Galtian heroes who all worked their way up from the muck in order to give us the glorious NFL. They make money from this because of the talent of the players and US, the fans. Not to mention the special antitrust position they get or the billions in taxdollars they get for stadiums.

    Its sad that so many posters here are so eager to suck up to the plutocrats and rip workers. You don’t care if you live in mud, as long as the other guy lives in crap. Pathetic.

  21. redheadedbastard says: Mar 11, 2011 7:54 PM

    Thanks for clarifying everything, but the only two words i want to hear right now are “Deal” and “Done”.

  22. Slackmo says: Mar 11, 2011 7:56 PM

    Put Judge Doty on the cover of Madden ’12!

  23. 1phd says: Mar 11, 2011 7:57 PM

    I don’t blame the owners for wanting even more money. Double chins, elastic waste bands and plastic surgery to remove the fat cat jowls is costly these days.

  24. oldbrowndawg says: Mar 11, 2011 7:58 PM

    Reason for decertifying? Simple. The union figured that Judge Doty would get them more in court than they could have gotten at the bargaining table. Based on his prior rulings to date, looks like they’re probably right.

    Bottom line is: Wow! Now the lawyers are going to do for football what they’ve done for the country over the past 45 years or so. Gee, I feel REAL good about that!

  25. laeaglefan says: Mar 11, 2011 7:58 PM

    As restitution to the fans for having to put up with this debacle, the NFL should award each fan a free jersey of his or her favorite team, bearing the number and name of the player of his or her choice.

  26. mymorningstory says: Mar 11, 2011 7:59 PM

    I’m pretty sure this mess is just going to make the owners angry/frustrated and therefore pulling away further from the middle. If you thought they didn’t give enough before this happened, expect them to give even less now.

    I fully expect this mess not being over until the Owners get Exactly what they want at this point.

  27. Patriot42 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:02 PM

    The fans need to unionize and demand our rights.

  28. shrike58 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:02 PM

    Car racing continues into November.

    A pox on both your houses.

  29. jroneputt says: Mar 11, 2011 8:05 PM

    It is a good day for this country when another union has gone away, even if it is for a short while.

    We might have an economic recovery after all.

  30. kcfanatic says: Mar 11, 2011 8:05 PM

    One thing I don’t understand. It is my understanding that the union has in essence dissolved for the purposes of getting the upper hand, and then going back to being a union afterwords. Isnt’t that a sham, and in essence fraud? Is there a chance they won’t be allowed to reorganize?

  31. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 11, 2011 8:07 PM

    Why on earth would the NFL’s lawyers and owners sign off on a contract—in this case, the 2006 CBA—that explicitly prohibits the league from challenging a decertification on grounds that it’s tantamount to a “sham”? That’s like going into a fencing match without an épée. I think I’ll research this myself.

  32. goodjet says: Mar 11, 2011 8:07 PM

    And the more fans that wake up one day (soon) and decide they don’t love it any more — The Better

  33. skoobyfl says: Mar 11, 2011 8:09 PM

    I’d like to say that this just seems like 2 greedy kids fighting.

  34. xtb3 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:16 PM

    CFL is going to have a big year!

  35. smartbutlazy says: Mar 11, 2011 8:25 PM

    I’m done. Screw them all. I feel bad for all the workers affected by the owners’ and players’ greed. Mike, I will still click on your site to keep your revenues up.

  36. tominma says: Mar 11, 2011 8:35 PM

    If the union has decertified, it seems to me that DeMaurice Smith no longer has a job! He was the Executive Director of a union that no longer exists, right?? Then, owner have no need to discuss anything at this time! They have no obligation to put on any games! My gripe is mostly with the players who, from everything Ive read, didnt negotiate in good faith in that they didnt concede on one economic point! So be it!

  37. romosrevenge says: Mar 11, 2011 8:36 PM

    “To the extent that the fans are rooting for an outcome, they should be rooting for the players’ strategy to succeed, quickly”. Sorry, I’m rooting
    for Doty to quickly render a lockout “illegal” so the owners can take the case out of his hands with an appeal which they will surely win, or says an attorney on the NFL channel. You seriously think the owners are going to pay players who are suing them? Not gonna happen. The players under the misguidance of “D” negotiated in bad faith from the beginning. They think it stops with Doty, their buddy. No sir. His baseless ruling will be overruled faster than Chris Johnson covers 40 yards.

  38. profootballwalk says: Mar 11, 2011 8:41 PM

    Kave Krew says: Mar 11, 2011 7:36 PM

    I hereby DECERTIFY my status as a fan since the NFL and the NFLPA don’t give a crap about me.

    I am buckled up and ready to ride this banger out……..

    Don’t let the door hit you on the a$$ on your way out.

  39. odds75to1 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:52 PM

    Thank you for this article, it puts in very simple (non-legal) terms what it means. I won’t read the legal articles about the what-ifs, so I appreciate ones like this that simplify it!

  40. mikechecka says: Mar 11, 2011 9:02 PM

    Is there any reason to think that decertifying will backfire on the NFL players and they end up with a worse deal than they had coming in?

  41. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 11, 2011 9:07 PM

    I am a huge NFL fan and have been to about 200 regular season games, many playoff games and multiple Super Bowls. I have NFL Season Tickets for two NFL Teams.

    “Eventually, plenty of us who love the sport could wake up one day and decide they don’t love it any more.”

    I used to be a big fan of Major League Baseball. I have not watched a SINGLE GAME , either in person or on television, since the last baseball strike.

    I am not alone………

  42. golonger says: Mar 11, 2011 9:15 PM

    thebiggolddog – please tell me you aren’t REALLY this stupid???

  43. jfluke65 says: Mar 11, 2011 9:18 PM

    I think the owners should consider giving up the common rules that binds them. Let each team determine their own pay rates and salary cap. I bet, overall, salaries drop waaay down.
    Sure, some might try to buy the best team, but Snyder has proven that doesn’t work too well.

  44. ny63 says: Mar 11, 2011 9:35 PM

    To Hell with all of ‘em, they don’t care about us. Whatever you all do DO NOT purchase ANY NFL gear while this greed-fest continues! And whenever possible boycott any NFL sponsors. I love this game, but it has never loved me back. Go Yankees!!

  45. PFTbitesthehandthatfeeds says: Mar 11, 2011 9:36 PM

    Does this mean Flouride your going back to your old job? Are you gonna have to lay off Rosenthal?
    What are you two eggheads gonna do all day now, become court reporters for the defunct NFLPA?
    So Long PFT, you’ll be now known as PLT, Pro Litigation Talk.
    Ironic isn’t it Mike, you left your job as a lawyer to blog about football, a dream job for most who visit your site, and now you find yourself blogging about litigation all day, its like you can’t escape it, it followed you, like a curse.

  46. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 9:48 PM

    thebigolddog says:
    Mar 11, 2011 7:37 PM

    What are you talking about? Businesses shut down every day in this country. What law prevents a free man from closing his business? I must have missed the clause in the constitution that forces people to run businesses.
    ==========================

    The NFL is not a “business” in the way you are thinking of it.

    It is an association of 32 separate businesses.

    Can one of those businesses decide to cease operations legally? Probably.

    Can all 32 get together and decide to go out of business simultaneously?

    No. That’s called collusion. And it is outlawed by Federal Anti-Trust laws that have been in place for nearly 100 years.

    Knowledge is power.

  47. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 9:52 PM

    From reading the comments, it seems like most of you didn’t even read the article.

    The decertification and lawsuit makes it MORE LIKEY that we will have football, not less.

    The players will go to Doty and get an injunction that prevents the league from shutting down.

    This will force the league to continue business as usual until their appeal is decided, which will not be until well after the 2011 season has started.

  48. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 9:58 PM

    romosrevenge says:
    Mar 11, 2011 8:36 PM
    Sorry, I’m rooting
    for Doty to quickly render a lockout “illegal” so the owners can take the case out of his hands with an appeal which they will surely win, or says an attorney on the NFL channel.
    ================================

    LOL. You’re basing your opinion on what an attorney on the NFL CHANNEL said?

    Let me clue you in. Doty will issue a preliminary injunction, which will keep the case in HIS COURT for at least 60 days, at which time he will issue a permanent injunction, at which time the league can appeal.

    It will take months for the case to get on an appellate docket, and despite what your NFL lapdog lawyer said on their pet network, there are no assurances the injunction will be overturned.

    And even it is, the attorney’s for the players will then be able to appeal that ruling, and God knows how long that will stretch out.

    Knowledge is power. You should get some.

  49. Deb says: Mar 11, 2011 10:06 PM

    Great job, Mike.

    You said in another article that the money was the sticking point you didn’t feel the players really wanted to work out a deal. Do you have enough information to elaborate? De Smith strikes me as antagonistic; I’m a bigger fan of Cornwell’s. Would you say Smith is at fault or was this truly a players’ decision? I believe the union was entitled to see financials, but not necessarily 10 years. Five should have been sufficient.

  50. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 10:07 PM

    laeaglefan says:
    Mar 11, 2011 7:58 PM
    As restitution to the fans for having to put up with this debacle, the NFL should award each fan a free jersey of his or her favorite team, bearing the number and name of the player of his or her choice.
    =========================

    And boom goes the dynamite.

    This post is the exact reason all of this is happening.

    While all of the hypocrites lie about boycotting the NFL when they come back, this guy is the REAL fan.

    Give him a jersey and all is forgotten.

    Awesome.

  51. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 10:53 PM

    @Deb:

    I know you didn’t ask me, but I will throw my two cents in anyway.

    Upshaw was not a lawyer. Like most non-lawyers in business, his goal was always to make deals without going to litigation, due to the usually correct perception that litigation would only slow things down.

    De Smith and his whole team are all lawyers. They have made their careers out of utilizing the legal system to maximize leverage in deals. The delays caused by litigating never struck them as negatives because, as lawyers, they tended to make more money the longer the case dragged out.

    When Smith and his team of lawyers analyzed the situation, they didn’t have the natural bias against litigation that their predecessors did. So if they determined their best deal would come from going to court, they were going to do it.

    And you know what? They may be right. The league for years has gotten away with skirting very closely to the line legally on several fronts. If the players get an injunction from Doty blocking a lockout, things could get very interesting.

  52. ubummer says: Mar 11, 2011 10:53 PM

    Just remember this, the league, the NFL itself is a NONPROFIT organization. The individual franchises operate for profit, but the league DOES NOT.

    So just what exactly does it mean to have a nonprofit hold a monopoly? Supposedly the anti trust laws were written to protect the public from unfair pricing by monopolies, but the league itself is nonprofit so how can its pricing be unfair? Just who exactly are the players going to sue? Are they suing the league or are they suing 32 franchises?

  53. sdw2001 says: Mar 11, 2011 10:53 PM

    thebigoldog says:

    “What are you talking about? Businesses shut down every day in this country. What law prevents a free man from closing his business? I must have missed the clause in the constitution that forces people to run businesses.”

    —-Uh, it’s called “the law.” The law prevents collusion between separate businesses. Under the labor agreement, the NFL is one business. Absent an agreement, it’s 32 separate businesses. The “NFL” essentially doesn’t exist without an agreement. It’s 32 teams that operate on their own. If they collude to set salaries, working conditions, wtc…it’s a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The same applies to a lockout. Absent an agreement, the league has no legal right to lockout non-union workers. All 32 teams would have to shut down operations on their own, which would be impossible to prove.

  54. realitypolice says: Mar 11, 2011 10:56 PM

    I am going to start a list of all of the screen names of all of the people here who are currently claiming that they won’t watch the NFL when it comes back.

    You’re all liars, and when you start posting on here about games you allegedly aren’t watching anymore, I will call you out.

  55. jerrod777 says: Mar 11, 2011 11:07 PM

    Am I the only one that is really ticked at what has happened?!
    I am trying to keep an objective and open mind about this, but to me it seems like the players want all the money they can get, and so they litigate to get the best deal. Meanwhile, in the end, they may get more percentage through lawyers and decertification, but the NFL business as a whole will lose money, so players will get LESS money. (A smaller piece of a bigger pie is still more than a bigger piece of a smaller pie).
    Also, if I owned a business and invested hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions, then I should get a return on my investment that is substantial. As long as owners are taking care of the players, the players don’t DESERVE a certain amount of money. Owners, take care of players through medical insurance, safety, retirement and such. Keep things fair for all players – top rookies shouldn’t get more than proven veterans. And players, make a good living, make sure you are taken care of, and don’t let lawyers fight your battle.
    The winners here: #1 – Lawyers, #2 – Other sports (because people will be moving towards them)
    The losers: #1 – The Fans, #2, Players and owners

    Come on! Get it together!! And soon!

  56. backuppunter says: Mar 11, 2011 11:12 PM

    Great article and even some informative posts. I actually feel like I understand this issue better. Thanks folks!

  57. Deb says: Mar 12, 2011 12:12 AM

    @realitypolice …

    I’m glad you answered because to a woman with a family full of litigators that makes perfect sense. They love a courtroom :)

    I’m on the players’ side, but the only way I won’t watch is if they field scabs–and it wouldn’t be worth watching anyway. At least I’ll still have the NCAA. But you’re right on the people claiming they’re leaving for good. But they’ll just change their screen names when they return. LOL

    Re what you said about my response to that racist guy: You should e-mail them your thoughts on comments. I’ve had a lot of stuff deleted for no reason but they need to hear from more people than me to take it seriously.

  58. jimmysee says: Mar 12, 2011 12:23 AM

    These people are all insane. Greedy, and insane.

  59. act12greg says: Mar 12, 2011 2:11 AM

    I make less than 30 thousand a year, I have a wife, a daughter, 3 grandkids, a home and a happy life with none of them complaing, it would take me almost a decade (10 years) to make as much as one player who made the minimum for one year in the NFL at the the current minimum salary of $285,000.oo. My whole working life equals what the lowest paid NFL player would make in 4-5 years. I might have less chance for a career ending injury than the players but there is no guarantee that I won’t be in a car accident, have a stroke or suffer from a heart attack tomorrow. Baseball lost me as a fan because of the strike in ’84 (and I used to be a die hard ball fan). If these Bozo’s (both NFL and NFLPA representitives) can’t decide on a compromise that prevents the fiasco that was the 1987 (replacement players) season I could probably learn to get along without the GAME and save the money I would have spent in the future. Sometimes High School Football, where the kids play just because they love to play, sounds a lot better to me than overpaid players and greedy owners. And the beer is cheaper.

  60. trickle10 says: Mar 12, 2011 8:59 AM

    For you people who think that players and owners should be equal. Who invests money in the field and the facilities? Who has to put upfront all the money to pay for the team? Who will continue to be with the team for 40 years and invested their personal monies in a team?

    The players don’t pay for the facilities, they don’t pay for the parking lots, they don’t have large mortgages due on the properties, they don’t have staff to pay, they don’t a business to run.

    Maybe the players should give the owners cuts of their marketing contracts they have with outside companies. No? Why not — they are “partners”.

    This is a business — the people who have put up the investment (the owners) are entitled to the profit — that is the way business works. The owners accept the risk of running a business and that it could collapse or have bad years and have to plan accordingly for that. The players have little financial stake if a team collapses or if facilities need to be replaced — they can go play somewhere else and they don’t have to pay for repairs to the facilities.

    The employees (the players) should be compensated with a wage that is fair to their situation.

    I am not saying that the owners aren’t being greedy — but lets face it — the players are making more money in 5 years than 90% of America makes in its lifetime. Should they get a raise — I would think of it being more of a bonus than a raise based on season, player accountability (staying out of jail & trouble), and how well the company did with financials. I don’t believe the players are “entitled” to anything nor do I think they deserve to see the financials of the companies they work for to determine if they are getting a fair wage. Nowhere else in America does this happen.

  61. Deb says: Mar 12, 2011 12:08 PM

    @act12greg …

    They serve beer at your high school games? :shock:

    @trickle10 …

    You’re wrong. It happens with bestselling writers and publishers, film/TV stars and their production companies, and music stars and their recording studios. Why? Because none of these people are “employees” in the same sense that you’re an employee in your organization. They are partners in an enterprise where their output is the product. Without them, the owners have no product.

    People need to stop thinking of these elite athletes as they do the administrative personnel who work for the NFL or as factory line workers. They can’t be replaced by holding a job fair. It’s closer to the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and his investors. Sure, they put up the money, they took the financial risk. But without him, they’d have no Facebook–no product to reap them all those profits. Without the players, the owners would have zero return on investment.

    We’re all paid for the value we bring to a company. When you have unique skills that can’t be easily replaced–and especially when you perform a dangerous job where your risk of permanent injury is high–you are paid through the nose. That’s how it works in a free market.

  62. bsdetectr says: Mar 13, 2011 4:19 PM

    @Deb

    YOU are the one that couldnt be more wrong trickle10 has it absoloutely right. Workers entertainers, writers etc if employed as employees have NO right to financial information of the owner risking his and his families well being and monies. If an entertainer, writer or athelete wants to be paid as a partner or independent contractor responsible for their own investment monies, well being and business then the players need to submit their offer to the owner of the franchise/business for consideration of acceptance or rejection.

  63. bsdetectr says: Mar 13, 2011 4:25 PM

    oh and one more thing the players can be replaced as we saw in the first labor strike. The game was played and teams continued with less than the best entertainment/game but football continued without the players then. Those players/employees are no longer with the company/owner however the owner/business/company continues to risk well being and monies. Those employee/players do not, big difference

  64. omayajones says: Mar 13, 2011 11:56 PM

    @trickle10

    “The players don’t pay for the facilities, they don’t pay for the parking lots, they don’t have large mortgages due on the properties, they don’t have staff to pay, they don’t a business to run.”.

    In many cases, it isn’t owners, it’s taxpayers. In the cases where taxpayers aren’t asked to subsidize the building of stadiums, the money is often raised through selling PSLs and naming rights, but no one is telling the owners they have to spend $1billion or more on a building that’s only going to get 8 home games a year.

    What gets lost in the talk about “greedy” owners and players is that there was a deal. Under the terms of that deal, the NFL made record revenues, but the owners then decided the $1billion split 32 ways wasn’t enough, they need $2billion. All the players did was ask why? That’s it.

    They didn’t ask for more money, they were willing to make concessions, but in order to get to the billion dollars the owners want, they want to know what numbers the owners are seeing that justify it.

    @bsdetectr

    The owners cannot hire replacement players. That’s the difference between a lockout and a strike.

  65. trickle10 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:09 PM

    @omayajones

    There isn’t a deal (otherwise there wouldn’t be a lockout right now). The players feel they should get more money based on how the league is doing. What happens in 5 years if another recession hit? Who takes the financial hit? Surely not the players. Who has paid $500 million for a team and should expect a return on investment? Not the players. Who takes all the risk if a team folds? Not the players.

    You seem to think the taxpayers fund the entire stadium, staff, marketing people, etc. etc. Unfortunately it is true that taxpayers do bear the costs for part of the facilities even when a team is doing well (which is not a good thing) but that does not lessen the rest of the business. Again — this is a business — the people who put up the money and risk (aka owners & investors of the business) deserve to reap the rewards of their business. Again — I am not saying the players don’t deserve more and I like some of the ideas that were presented (especially about a player pension program since players can’t seem to figure out the cash in -cash out theory) but I think the players are asking for too much to have rights to see private corporation\company financials to determine if the owners “deserve” to make that much money or to see how much money the players “deserve” to get paid.

  66. jerrod777 says: Mar 15, 2011 12:05 AM

    @trickle10

    well said. I agree with what you are saying. Now if some of the players involved in the litigation could see it that way. Unfortunately there does not seem to be much common sense involved. Just a matter of leverage and seeing what I can get.

    Oh, and another point. The players got a good deal last time (they have even said it). And they do not want to give much – if any – of it back. Once you get a certain amount, you don’t want to go back. If they want to split more of the owners money, i agree with somebody else – let them put their endorsement contracts and outside appearances/payments for autographs and other things in the pot – to be split up during the negotiations then. That would make it fair.

  67. omayajones says: Mar 15, 2011 12:27 AM

    @trickle10

    Where are you getting that the players are asking for more money? The current situation is the result of the owners asking for $1billion dollars from the players.

    The position of the players is, and has been the whole time, that if you’re asking them to take a billion dollar pay cut because the deal that was agreed to in 2006 doesn’t work for both sides, prove it. That’s it.

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