It’s fitting, we suppose, that on the same day the
Redskins Washington Football Team flexed their trademark muscle against the Washington Post, the organization infringed on the trademark phrase of unemployed actor Charlie Sheen.
“We care deeply about our passionate fans of the Burgundy & Gold and we are determined to bring you a winning football team,” G.M. Bruce Allen said in the last paragraph of a letter to fans. “You should know that the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season or swerve our focus from the Redskins’ objective — WINNING.”
We would have developed a ton of respect for the organization if Allen had added a hashtag.
The rest of Allen’s letter echoes the league’s placement of blame on the players’ “abandonment of bargaining and subsequent decertification,” and also claims that those actions “led to” the “difficult but necessary step to lock out” the players. As if the league wasn’t going to lock the players out anyway.
“We remain committed to getting a new deal done and believe that the fastest way to a fair agreement is through mediation and not litigation,” Allen writes. We continue to believe both can be accomplished. Mediation may occur during litigation, and the uncertainty of the ruling that will result from the April 6 hearing on the players’ effort to lift the lockout could (actually, should) nudge both sides toward controlling their destiny before the leverage swings sharply, one way or the other.
Allen described the offer from which the players “walked away” as “fair,” a term which has little relevance absent a full understanding of the positions and the circumstances. He also tries to foment friction between former players and current players, pointing to the “additional benefits the proposal would have provided” to the league’s retirees.
“Our organization is rich in history and we are proud of the men who have contributed to our glorious past and helped create our great fan base that we all benefit from today,” Allen writes. “The Redskins alumni continue to play an integral role within our community, and the union’s decision to walk away from a deal that would have benefited our retired players is especially disappointing.”
And no letter from the G.M. of D.C.’s team would be complete without reiteration of the league’s position that Congressional involvement is not desire (except, of course, when Congress is leaning on the NFLPA* to work with NFL Alumni).
“As the home team in the nation’s capital, we understand and respect the political process,” Allen says. “However, we feel a deal will be reached at the negotiating table and not with the involvement of Congress. The NFL remains committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process, which is the most effective way to reach a new agreement — one that is good for the long-term future of the game.”
We’re not sure that a coordinated P.R. effort will set the right move for further talks, and we’d prefer at this point that the two sides focus not on pointing fingers but on finding a way to get back to the table and continue their work on a new deal.