NFLPA convenes annual meeting with lockout high on agenda

The NFL Players Association will conduct its annual meeting in Hawaii, beginning today.  According to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, the union hopes to “[u]nite and prepare” players for a possibility lockout in 2011.

The NFLPA has been sounding the lockout alarm for months.  Some within the union believe that management hopes to force a lockout in order to ultimately forge a better long-term deal for the players, after Executive Director DeMaurice Smith uses political influence to bash the league for taking away football from millions of registered voters.  We think/hope that the union is instead using the lockout threat to soften up the rank-and-file to accept the best deal the NFL ultimately will do.

Either way, “lockout” looms like a pregnant cloud, with the “Lockout Watch” image etched onto every page of the NFLPA web site and a “Lockout Central” area that regards a management-imposed work stoppage as a fait accompli.  (That’s a fancy term meaning “done deal”; we use words like that once in a while to balance out the references to farting.)

Preparations for a lockout shouldn’t be the only item on the agenda.  Two years after the late Gene Upshaw believed that former NFLPA President Troy Vincent was trying to launch a coup, Smith should be bracing for an overhaul in union leadership.  As Mullen points out, current NFLPA President Kevin Mawae could face a challenge to re-election, and four members of the 10-man Executive Committee (Keenan McCardell, Donovin Darius, Mark Bruener, and Kevin Carter) are stepping down.

If there’s a “Red Knights”-style sentiment brewing against those who are calling the shots, the annual meeting provides the only meaningful opportunity for an uprising.  Given that we’re convinced there will not be a lockout (more on that is coming later today), we think that Smith and company would be wise to worry more about the possibility of mutiny.

9 responses to “NFLPA convenes annual meeting with lockout high on agenda

  1. Demaurice Smith and the players union are the ones that are going to destroy football with a lockout. This guy is a thug and is clearly trying to influence people with threats rather than what he should be doing, which is letting the fans know that they are going to do everything than can to avoid a lockout. This type of talk enrages me and I can’t help but think it does the same to other football fans and it certainly doesn’t make me feel bad for these multi-millionaires. This is garbage.

  2. So wait, there is a potential lockout on the horizon and the NFLPA thinks it is a good idea to have a conference in Hawaii? Holy AIG Batman! Man is that some typical union crap there. Just tell the players that they might be out of work and unpaid next year and lets sip some Mai Tais!

  3. Smith is doing a horrible job so far. Not that Upshaw left a great situation to follow into. He was the one that for years treated an uncapped year as the promised land He just forgot to tell the players that the promise involved was that they would get a hell of a lot less than what they already had.
    But Smith has done nothing effective to help get a new deal with a new cap in place. The responsibility for any lockout or strike will fall equally on him as it does on the owners.

  4. Is Smith A Jesse Jackson idoit/clown or does he actually have some”GRAY MATTER’ in his skull???

  5. “The NFL Players Association will conduct its annual meeting in Hawaii”
    Hum, if i was the players, the first think i would ask for is, who paid for your little jaunt over to Hawaii? They could not find a less expansive site then Hawaii? Make sure the union, NEVER,EVER mentions money being an issue, sure looks like they got enough to me. Meanwhile the owners have theres in Orlando. Humm…
    The funny thing is, if either side was actually serious about this, they would meet around the clock and hammer out an arrangement that works for both sides plus the fans. This back n forth BS posturing is getting alittle tiring aleady,esp by the Union.

  6. Smith is doing a fine job. The guys at the NFL are hard asses and are going to try to squeeze the players out of every penny, citing the recession and other risks, even though the NFL is raking it in.
    As a former NFL player, I like the fact that they have someone who is willing to go toe to toe with them…unlike Upshaw.
    And, by the way, the Hawaii deal was unrefundable (from a contract Upshaw made a couple of years back). It would have cost more to cancel Hawaii and do it somewhere else which Smith tried to do, in fact, for the fiscally conservative reasons you all point to…
    Do your homework then criticize jackasses. Even Florio has abandoned that uninformed argument.

  7. I’m so glad Arby’s has a dollar menu now. I can afford to get more than one sandwich now.

  8. The have an entire office building on “L” street in D.C.; why is it necessary to hold their meeting in Hawaii??

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