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Many players assume that labor dispute will be resolved by Week One

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We’ve noticed a trend in recent days.  Players asked about when the labor dispute will be resolved uniformly say that they believe everything will be settled in time for the first week of the regular season to be played.

From Keith Brooking to Asante Samuel to others I’ve already forgotten, optimism has been display — no player to our knowledge has expressed concern that the impasse will delay the launch of the 2011 campaign.

On one hand, it’s encouraging.  On the other hand, it doesn’t mesh with the looming possibility that a failure by the NFLPA* to lift the lockout via the court system will lead to a Plan B for conjuring leverage via the courts — with no meaningful negotiations occurring until leverage is obtained.

Sports lawyer David Cornwell explained on Wednesday’s PFT Live the possibility that the players signed on for a strategy that could wipe out the 2011 season.  Given the stream of players who express confidence that Week One will occur as scheduled makes us wonder whether the players truly realize that their leadership could be pursuing an approach that defers any meaningful negotiations until real leverage is obtained through litigation, even if it takes months to get to that point.

If a disconnect indeed exists, look for it to come to a head not long after the Eighth Circuit rules regarding Judge Nelson’s order lifting the lockout.  If, as expected, the lockout is upheld and if the next step doesn’t involve serious efforts to work out a new CBA, some players could begin to break ranks.

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48 Responses to “Many players assume that labor dispute will be resolved by Week One”
  1. billinlouisiana says: May 19, 2011 7:37 AM

    How about if they just get to the bargaining table and end this crap now!

  2. Patriot42 says: May 19, 2011 7:44 AM

    None of the players like training camp even though they realize it is necessary but they would just as soon not have to go through it. So secretly they hope it isn’t settled until those two a days are past and they just get in shape in the game.

  3. lucky5934 says: May 19, 2011 7:47 AM

    Assume? More like “Hope For”. It is easy to stay united when they are no game checks being missed. Wait till the NFL Players start missing game checks and see how fast they come crawling back to the Owners offer. The NFL Players as a whole are not built to withstand long term money shortage. So yes, they really want this to be over before the start of the season.

  4. evilzorac says: May 19, 2011 7:52 AM

    I really believe that most players don’t get it. All they are thinking about is “Get me more cash, and oh by the way if I can miss camp and preseason I’m good!” While at the same time the leadership is looking for more TV face time.

  5. txchief says: May 19, 2011 8:02 AM

    Everyone needs to realize that the Eighth Circuit could take months to rule after hearing on June third. That itself could wipe out at least part of the season before the players association files their next round of suits.

  6. sfsaintsfan says: May 19, 2011 8:05 AM

    “Many players assume that labor dispute will be resolved by Week One”

    That would mean that many players are delusional.

    What do they think the owners will do keep making proposals (they cannot be called counter-proposals if the lawyers for the players are silent) until they finally “cave” to the players demands?

    The owners are mostly self-made billionaires (sure there are some who inherited their teams and of course Green bay) who can ride this out until the players cave in. There will be no week one games, or month one games for that matter, without true negotiations on the part of the players.

    The owners are thinking, how many game checks do the players have to miss for them to come to a agreement that is favorable to the owners? A month or two of no games, and no checks for the players, will result in a multi-year agreement very favorable to the owners. Anything more than that and players will be flocking to Bankruptcy Court.

  7. vadog says: May 19, 2011 8:25 AM

    I’m very pessimistic about the 2011 season…and beyond! I don’t think the players have a winnable arguement, especially in the 8th Circuit, and I don’t trust the owners to do the right thing.

    There will likely be no professional football in 2011, and yes, I don’t count the UFL or the AFL as professional football.

  8. blackdb says: May 19, 2011 8:27 AM

    It is obvious that outside of the players that are directly involved with the NFLPA they do not have a clue as to what is happening and are blindly following De Smith over a cliff. You can’t make statements like we got the best deal ever last time.. I am enjoying the lockout… etc and expect it not to be used against you. They are already not on the same page they will fragment in a hurry when they realize no income is a real possibility.

  9. jimmysee says: May 19, 2011 8:28 AM

    No training camp and no pre-season games could result in a huge spike in career ending injuries.

    Football is a tough tough game — if these guys are not in shape when the season starts, they may be cutting their own wrists.

  10. carson9 says: May 19, 2011 8:33 AM

    It would be nice to watch NFL come September, but with the NFLPA’s lawyers involved and their mentally challenged leader, I don’t see that happening at all.

  11. footballhistorian says: May 19, 2011 8:39 AM

    With a bombastic moron like Smith, coupled with a classic case of group ignorance (players in general), I’ve said all along that this thing may completely kill the whole season…good lord knows I hope I’m wrong.

  12. arrogantathlete says: May 19, 2011 8:44 AM

    Well many players are re tarded

  13. neagle64 says: May 19, 2011 8:45 AM

    Snore, wake me up when the season begins – in the meantime I have much greater things to worry about like paying off my mortgage.

  14. commoncents says: May 19, 2011 8:46 AM

    By the time the players wake up, it may be too late. Get rid of De Smith, even Cromartie could do better than him at getting a fair deal.

  15. lucky5934 says: May 19, 2011 9:04 AM

    Actually Carson9, that would be an insult to the mentally challenged in the world to include Smith in there.

  16. chatham10 says: May 19, 2011 9:05 AM

    I believe that over half the players have no idea what is going on and would not understand it if they were told. Brees was on Mike @ Mike the other day and he is shrill for the players even though he has not attended the court hearings in Mpls, but what the heck, he is a qb and they are God.

  17. giveseanpaytonhisjuicyfruit says: May 19, 2011 9:13 AM

    When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me

  18. readimgram1 says: May 19, 2011 9:17 AM

    At some point the players need to wake up and realize they are paid very well and the the overall deal will not change that to much.

    They are making such a big deal about the amount of the team caps but the fact is that many teams do not even spend up to the cap.

    They really should just be negotiating the salary floor and minimum salaries.

    The funny part is that the end game will have the average NFL players making about the same money 350-400K initially so this whole dog and pony show is only costing them money and not doing alot to help them.

    The only players this will really affect are the minority of them making the big bucks that challenge the cap.

    These are the players that should be screaming at their reps to get a deal now so they do not lose money, they are also the ones that will have the biggest problems missing checks.

  19. truvikingfan says: May 19, 2011 9:24 AM

    How about this for some leverage…..The fans don’t care anymore, and your money train has left the station.

  20. dewiseman says: May 19, 2011 9:24 AM

    There’s a way out of this logjam, and I have a solution. The players should give the owners what monies they want. The owners should give the players the following:
    1. A one minute touchdown celebration opportunity, with no commercial interruptions.
    2. A promise by Goodell not to punish players for such trivial offenses as drug dealing, wife beating, etc. The Commissioner, however, would be permitted to draw the line at murder, or attempted murder.
    4. Continued random drug testing to be administered by a person of the player’s choosing, who will be paid $10,000 for each test.
    3. In order to recoup their financial losses, players should be allowed to hold up paid advertising sings from the bench during a game and to wear company logos under, or next to, their uniform numbers.
    The solution to this impasse is so simple I’m surprised that dsmith hasn’t thought of it.

  21. marjones45 says: May 19, 2011 9:38 AM

    I am amused when this is referred to as a labor dispute, and the question is posed “when will the labor dispute end?”.

    It could end just as quickly as it started. Lift the lockout and players go back to work tomorrow under 2009 or 2010 rules. Everyone gets their football back, players make money, owners make money. See how simple this is?

  22. realitypolice says: May 19, 2011 9:41 AM

    The idea that the players (or the owners for that matter) will push this lawsuit past the 8th circuit ruling on the lockout for months and months and actually take it trial is something you continually speculate about that I have read nowhere else.

    I have said from the beginning that once the 8th circuit rules on the lockout, whichever side loses will adjust their position and a deal will get done in time for the season to start on time.

    This has been the plan of both sides all along.

    The NFLPA can’t admit that they have no intention of taking this lawsuit all the way, nor can they admit that they know full well that the draft and free agency rules are never going away.

    This is how the legal system in America works. If you want A, you ask for ABC&D.

    Of course the players statements don’t mesh with your wild theory. They’ve been on the conference calls, they’ve been in the meetings- De Smith has met with every team as early as last off season- and they know the real plan.

    The only difference between their position on the situation and their leadership’s is that they aren’t smart enough to lie about it.

  23. straitalk says: May 19, 2011 9:58 AM

    I’d be very careful with your over the top support of the owners if I were you, Mike. In your enthusiasm to drive a philosophical wedge between the players and the NFLPA leadership, you are forced into a very negative and narrow position of espousing the assumption that the players; and only the players, dont know what you, the media, or even the mind numbed robots and shills on your blog understand. Thats a very paternalistic viewpoint that says more about you than the reality of the situation, especially since the players most likely know exactly whats going on, but have been directed to remain consistent, positive, and disciplined throughout this dispute. That this possibility hasn’t even crossed your mind shouts your bias from the rooftops. Don’t get me wrong, you have a right to your bias, but please save us the hypocrisy of your feigned impartial observer act. The argument that the players are too stupid to know whats happening around them should be reserved for only the most shallow and uninformed blog trolls. Never thought I hear a credentialed media type swimming in those shallow waters, but I guess this labor dispute in making everyone a bit desperate.

  24. jtfris says: May 19, 2011 10:00 AM

    Great point. The players are oblivious until they start losing money. The owners know this. The owners will now make sure the players lose some money to better the owners position.

  25. realitypolice says: May 19, 2011 10:03 AM

    There was a debate on here yesterday about how much credence should be given to a poll taken about the lockout of people who weren’t necessarily serious football fans.

    Many people on here took the rather reasonable position that our opinions carried more weight because we obviously spent much more time reading about football.

    Fair enough. But is it possible that maybe we can become overly pessimistic because we are having every statement, every threat, every legal maneuver stuffed down our throats on almost an hourly level? Maybe it’s become hard for us to see the forest for the trees.

    If you walked up to someone randomly the street and said the following:

    “two sides in a business dispute are arguing over 9 billion dollars. None of that money is lost yet, but if they can’t agree in the 3 months, the money will start to go away. What do you think will happen?”

    You know what they would say? “They’ll figure it out by then”.

    So maybe we all just need to hit the reset button on our brains. Forget the saber rattling, harsh talk, threats, legal maneuvers, and other general nastiness and just look at the question as stated above.

    If we could wash all that crap out of our brains, you know what we would think?

    They’ll figure it out.

  26. hanifmiller says: May 19, 2011 10:07 AM

    Players are positive because at the first sign of them not getting paid the players especially those without multi-million dollar contracts will pressure D. Smith and the NFLPA to get things done (regardless of what the deal is because any number is greater than 0 dollars) . But It won’t be real to them until they start losing game checks. Money talks and BS walks…

  27. hawkdawg88 says: May 19, 2011 10:15 AM

    txchief–

    The 8th Cirucit has said that it understands the need for the prompt issuance of its opinion after June 3rd. Won’t be months. I’d guess within 2-3 weeks, maybe even faster.

  28. crubenst says: May 19, 2011 10:22 AM

    The problem is they’re being misled by people they trust who are really only out for themselves. They won’t realized until its too late that games are being missed.

  29. marjones45 says: May 19, 2011 10:26 AM

    I agree with most of the posters and fans. Lets get back to work. Here is the simpliest of solutions.

    Lift the owner imposed lockout, using 2009 rules AND at the same time, negotiate a settlement.

    The fans get football, owners and players make money. That is how simple this is.

  30. johnnyoclock says: May 19, 2011 10:47 AM

    You know how it saddens you when you see stories of players with all this money, and they lose all or most of it because of bad decisions? You feel bad because they just don’t know what they’re doing.

    It seems to be the same thing with their choosing De Smith for leadership. It’s another instance where they’re gonna hurt themselves due to not knowing what they’re doing.

    They apparently don’t see, or just don’t care, that it doesn’t look at all like their leadership has an actual interest in the game or compromise and doesn’t care about missing the season. The goal seems to be one thing: stick it to the owners as much as possible just for the sake of doing it so and calling it justice.

    It really is amazing that these players aren’t of the mindset…. wait they’re not asking us to reduce our actual wages, and they’re not looking to reduce the salary cap? Where do I sign?!?!

    It’s like kids playing with matches; they don’t know what they’re doing and chose some real bad leadership.

    Any deal where you make the money they do, even the guys on the lower end, where they’re not asked to reduce their wages is something they should have been thankful for and rushed to sign. Instead they chose to declare war. It really is amazing how filthy they’ve made this whole thing.

  31. millermt17 says: May 19, 2011 11:27 AM

    Ownership is counting on the players’ optimism that games will be played Week 1 of the regular season. That is why the league crafted the schedule so that the season could still be played starting at the current week 5 (by cancelling week 2 (no divisional games), playing week 3 games on the coordinated bye weeks, eliminating the week off before the Super Bowl, and delaying the Super Bowl by a week). A 15 game schedule could still be played. Those optimistic players won’t be too thrilled once they start missing game checks. One week, two weeks, three weeks… How long will it take for the players to break ranks and demand a deal get done? It appears ownership believes it will be at most 4 weeks.

  32. marjones45 says: May 19, 2011 11:39 AM

    johnnyoclock says:
    May 19, 2011 10:47 AM

    It really is amazing that these players aren’t of the mindset…. wait they’re not asking us to reduce our actual wages, and they’re not looking to reduce the salary cap? Where do I sign?!?!

    ___________________________________
    You are ridiculously niave. Of course there will be a pay cut. If it is another billion off the top, or a reduced cap figure, call it whatever you want, that will mean less for the players. You may be amazed, I am stunned. If you have X, and take something, anything away from it, you will have less than X. This is 1st grade math.

    And while we are at it, another Billion off the top? Really? For what? They already get one billion. They must be planning for a huge increase in Roger’s salary.

    What they are trying to do is use that 1 billion, per year mind you, to establish a fund that will assist owners in building new stadiums. Rather than use the money directly from their pockets, or ask local governments to fund it, they choose this method. Well this impacts the players and the players share, and the players see no direct benefit. If Ziggie Wolfe wants a new stadium, let him build it.

  33. Deb says: May 19, 2011 11:50 AM

    Most players believe the antitrust suits are a strategy to gain leverage. They don’t want a no-rules league or believe that’s how this will end up. And all the people here calling them every name in the book need to get a clue. They’re 1700 individual athletes. The intricate details of these labor negotiations are being managed by experienced labor attorneys and CEOs. You can’t expect rank-and-file football players to understand the fine points of all this anymore than you do. They’re trusting their representatives to act in their best interests.

    The real problem here is that some owners want this to implode the league as we know it. That’s why they keep pushing this through the courts when it’s unlikely they’ll win in the end. They want a no-rules league without a draft and without revenue-sharing because it means more money for them. The players aren’t the enemy. They’re being manipulated by people with a lot more power and a lot more at stake.

  34. southmo says: May 19, 2011 11:54 AM

    Players didn’t negotiate before the lockout, why would they negotiate if the owners lifted it?

  35. eagleswin says: May 19, 2011 11:54 AM

    marjones45 says:May 19, 2011 10:26 AM

    I agree with most of the posters and fans. Lets get back to work. Here is the simpliest of solutions.

    Lift the owner imposed lockout, using 2009 rules AND at the same time, negotiate a settlement.

    The fans get football, owners and players make money. That is how simple this is.
    —————————
    Soooo .. give the players what they want rulewise, let them play and get paid, remove all owner leverage but let the owners negotiate from under the threat of the lawsuit and make it all under the oversight of a federal judge.

    Under those conditions, why would the players give up anything? That’s why the players are so hellbent on suing the league into oblivion, because they have no leverage. They could strike but couldn’t do that until training camp opened and you know they don’t want to miss any paychecks.

    Litigation was their relatively pain free alternative to striking. The highly paid vets for the most part get an extended vacation while someone else does the heavy lifting before any paychecks are missed. Noone cares about the bottom 50 percent, they will do as they are told. In theory. It all hinges on whethere the lockout get’s lifted or not.

  36. vahawker says: May 19, 2011 12:31 PM

    My bad Deb, I thought the PLAYERS brought this to the courts, not the owners. You have some other proof that the owners ran away from negotiations and into the courts?

    And how many owners and players have you talked to that allows you to make such definitive statements about what they want?

  37. packerswambulance says: May 19, 2011 12:48 PM

    That will be waay too late. I will have cancelled my DirecTv NFL Sunday Ticket package, cancelled going to the games I go to when I’m in town, refused to buy the merchandise I usually buy for my family. Instead I think I’ll try to get out hunting and fishing more. Who knows if that will stick permanently. Am I alone on this? Maybe, maybe not.
    Get this fixed before you start affecting the quality of football you want us to buy this fall, because you guys are not the only entertainment out there.

  38. nflfan101 says: May 19, 2011 12:50 PM

    Based on what another commentator said, I looked up an interview of Jeff Saturday from March. He clearly did not sign up for no football in 2011. If I understood him correctly, he and other players were led to believe that appeals would be over in April, or maybe June, and that they would play football and negotiate just like in the 80s.

    He didn’t even consider that the lockout might be upheld.

    Also, he said that he and Goodell had a beer and talked the night before the players walked out of the CBA negotiations. He said that he told Goodell what the players want, but he didn’t tell the interviewer.

    Question: just what do the players want other than to keep the old CBA which the owners cannot and will not do? Does anyone know? Does D. Smith even know? What is the point of this whole mess?

    I do not see where the NFL is trying to screw the players, but I see the NFL as wanting to tweak the old CBA. Why can’t the players give a little and gain a little. Swap less total pay to players in exchange for less or no restricted agents.

    FACT: D. Smith walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and did not attend at least one court ordered mediation session.

    If fans, players and PFT employees want football, then tell D. Smith to get his butt into negotiations.

  39. nflfan101 says: May 19, 2011 1:04 PM

    realitypolice says: May 19, 2011 9:41 AM

    The idea that the players (or the owners for that matter) will push this lawsuit past the 8th circuit ruling on the lockout for months and months and actually take it trial is something you continually speculate about that I have read nowhere else.

    I have said from the beginning that once the 8th circuit rules on the lockout, whichever side loses will adjust their position and a deal will get done in time for the season to start on time.

    This has been the plan of both sides all along.

    The NFLPA can’t admit that they have no intention of taking this lawsuit all the way, nor can they admit that they know full well that the draft and free agency rules are never going away.

    This is how the legal system in America works. If you want A, you ask for ABC&D.

    Of course the players statements don’t mesh with your wild theory. They’ve been on the conference calls, they’ve been in the meetings- De Smith has met with every team as early as last off season- and they know the real plan.

    The only difference between their position on the situation and their leadership’s is that they aren’t smart enough to lie about it.
    ————————————-

    When you file a lawsuit, nobody, and I mean nobody, knows where or how it will end. How do you know what D. Smith is thinking? Are you one of his legal buddies?

    From everything that D. Smith has done and said, it is clear that he wants litigation and he doesn’t care about the players, the game, or the NFL. He just wants to win to show how “bad” he is.

    Do not be surprised when this mess drags well after June, July, and August.

  40. millermt17 says: May 19, 2011 1:06 PM

    All the legal wrangling is nice for the media to have something to talk about it, but it all means nothing. Both sides have enough countermeasures in place that the issue will be tied up in courts until well past the beginning of the regular season, as each side tries to get that little extra bit of leverage. It is clear from the way the league scheduled this season’s games that the owners are willing to let this affect the regular season. They will have the ultimate leverage once players start missing game checks. At that point players will start breaking ranks and demand that a deal get done.

  41. realitypolice says: May 19, 2011 1:33 PM

    nflfan101 says:
    May 19, 2011 1:04 PM
    realitypolice says: May 19, 2011 9:41 AM

    When you file a lawsuit, nobody, and I mean nobody, knows where or how it will end. How do you know what D. Smith is thinking? Are you one of his legal buddies?

    From everything that D. Smith has done and said, it is clear that he wants litigation and he doesn’t care about the players, the game, or the NFL. He just wants to win to show how “bad” he is.

    Do not be surprised when this mess drags well after June, July, and August.
    ================================

    While it is true that no one can truly know how a lawsuit will end, it is more than a little naive to think there is no way to control how long a case goes on. You act as if a lawsuit is some sort of runaway freight train. It is, in fact, a very tightly controlled process.

    I am no fan of De Smith. I have posted many, many times that the players made a mistake in picking a litigator to lead them. But they didn’t elect him King. He still works for them.

    And what would you expect him to say? HEY! We filed this big scary lawsuit- but don’t worry fellas! It’s just a negotiating ploy, we’ll never take it that far!

    I don’t need to be one of his “legal buddies” to know that a negotiating ploy only works if you can convince the other side that is not just a ploy.

    I won’t be surprised if this thing drags INTO August. That will depend on how long the 8th Circuit drags their feet after the June 3rd hearing. But once they rule, things will begin to happen quickly.

  42. Deb says: May 19, 2011 1:36 PM

    @vahawker ….

    I’ve talked to as many owners and players as you have to make you so certain of their motives, sweetheart. That works both ways.

    On the other hand …

    I’ve been reading interviews with some of these owners going back years, even predating the previous CBA. They’ve made their desire to unravel the current structure of the NFL and its revenue-sharing plan well-known. Powerful, successful, intelligent businessmen are quite capable of manipulating events to their advantage. If you followed the long history of these labor disputes rather than just jumping in on the night the NFLPA decertified, you’d know the owners spent two years planning the lockout and did not negotiate in good faith up until that day in March.

    I’ve also read interviews with several players, including some posting here, from the rank-and-file–not top-tier earners–who simply want the lockout to end so they can return to work. Though some have other ideas, many have made clear they don’t want the draft to end–and they’d be fools to want no-rules bidding wars. The current price structure ensures guys who aren’t Tom Bradys or Peyton Mannings can earn a good wage, even if it’s only for a few months before they’re cut.

    You’ll have to excuse me. I’m a student of NFL history and have directly followed the league’s machinations regarding players for a couple of decades. Nothing owners do surprises me.

    More important, being female I don’t suffer from male envy of professional athletes that has so many on PFT determined to blame players for a work stoppage that was devised and executed by owners. I’m not so desperate to believe elite athletes are no different than burger-flippers that I’d keep classifying them as minimum-wage workers demanding to see the boss’s books. As long as people posting here insist on viewing the situation in such limited–and completely inaccurate terms–they’re never going to understand what’s really going on. But 100 people can thumbs-down my posts. Doesn’t make them any less true.

  43. straitalk says: May 19, 2011 3:11 PM

    Deb..,

    Truly well said! I look forward to reading your independent analyis in this blog universe of the uninformed and envious follower. In this upside down world of canned responses and PR manipulated opinion, I find honor in the number of thumbs down recieved. May you recieve many thumbs down! :)

  44. Deb says: May 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    @straitalk …

    Thank you! Have said I’m going to make a bracelet of my thumbs down :)

  45. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 19, 2011 7:55 PM

    The players have signed on to a strategy that could result in no football for four or more years.

    Deb, really? You’ve got it totally backwards. Who filed the anti-trust complaint in Federal Court? Four years or more, Deb. Enjoy learning about hockey!

  46. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 19, 2011 7:58 PM

    The players don’t believe they will miss any game checks.

    This will end badly for them……

  47. eagleswin says: May 19, 2011 8:26 PM

    Deb says:
    May 19, 2011 11:50 AM

    The intricate details of these labor negotiations are being managed by experienced labor attorneys and CEOs. You can’t expect rank-and-file football players to understand the fine points of all this anymore than you do. They’re trusting their representatives to act in their best interests.

    ———————————–

    It’s news to me that DeMaurice Smith, who is the leader of this merry band of misfits is an experienced labor attorney and CEO.

    From Wikipedia : Prior to his election, he was a trial lawyer and litigation partner in the Washington, DC offices of law firms Patton Boggs, LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP. In private practice, he represented Fortune 500 companies in criminal and complex civil cases, compliance matters, and internal investigations.

    Where on god’s green earth did you get that that DeMaurice Smith was an experienced labor attorney or CEO?

    Smith has ZERO experience as a labor attorney. Litigation experience does not equal negotiation prowess. He has also not shown that he wants to negotiate until the litigation is done.

  48. Deb says: May 19, 2011 11:08 PM

    @palinforpresident …

    Your posts might be relevant if you bothered to read a comment before trying to refute it. :roll: I’ll bet you and Sarah subscribe to the same newspapers.

    @eagleswin …

    I didn’t say anything about De Smith or any other individual. I said these cases are being handled by teams of experienced labor attorneys–and they are–and CEOs (meaning the owners, remember them?). My point was that people can’t expect athletes with no expertise in these matters to have expertise in these matters. They are leaving that to their professional representatives, as they should. Seems straightforward enough for a kindergartner to grasp. But most kindergartners don’t continually pull single sentences out of context in sad efforts to play “Gotcha!” Aww … and you even went to Wikipedia. Bless your heart.

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