As the NFL’s players and owners continue their long battle over the billions of dollars that ultimately come out of the fans’ wallets, I sometimes wonder whether they realize the extent to which they’re jeopardizing the fans’ passion for the NFL.
So it’s always good to come across quotes from some of the players who do seem to get it.
One such player is Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he’s worried about how the fans will react to all the offseason news focusing on lawsuits and labor battles, instead of minicamps and free agents.
“It’s never a good look for the game,” Vilma said. “It’s never a good look for the fans to have the players and the owners arguing over money, and so hopefully we can get it worked out as soon as possible and get back playing.”
Vilma said he personally hasn’t been affected by the lockout: He’s working out on his own and has also kept busy with charity work in Haiti. But he doesn’t like the idea that this offseason is about the labor situation, not the game on the field.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t gone the way I wanted, just because I want to play football,” Vilma said. “We always talk about, ‘the business side of football,’ and we just try to get over these hurdles as quickly and as smoothly as possible.”