On Monday, we pointed out a position recently taken by the NFL regarding the inability to the decertified players’ union — known in these parts most efficiently as the NFLPA* — to negotiate group marketing, advertising, and licensing deals. The league believed that, by converting to a trade association, the NFLPA* had forfeited that right, as explained by Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal.
We suspected that the league was merely trying to attack a potential source of player revenue during the lockout.
Per Liz Mullen of SBJ, a strongly-worded letter from Ahmad Nassar of NFL Players, the NFLPA* player marketing arm, to NFL Senior V.P. Gary Gertzog prompted Gertzog to explain in response that the league has “not engaged in efforts to denigrate or attack the validity of your current group player rights.”
The notion that the abandonment of collective bargaining rights prevents the NFLPA* from engaging in group marketing efforts is, frankly, a bit ridiculous. Players aren’t required to participate in the group marketing program; most notably, former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington opted not to do so when he was playing, resulting in the presence in the Madden game of a player with Arrington’s height, weight, and appearance, who was named merely, “Linebacker.”