Union issues confusing statement in response to Jeff Pash comments

On Thursday afternoon, the NFL Players Association issued a brief statement.  It was so brief that, without doing additional research, it provides no context or background or, ultimately, helpful information.

Titled “NFLPA Statement on Comments by NFL’s Jeff Pash to ESPN Radio Show,” NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen said this:  “The Players will contribute over $800 million to the construction and operation of the Jets/Giants stadium alone.  If that is ‘kicking the can,’ then we just sent it 60 yards through the uprights in a headwind.”

The statement apparently comes in response to Pash’s characterization of the league’s and the union’s position as “two different visions,” with the league hoping to make meaningful changes in the hopes of growing the game and the union preferring to keep things the way they are.  Pash describes the union as wanting to keep the current deal in place.

“I think when someone says let’s just kick the can down the road for six
, that kind of complacency and status-quo orientation doesn’t serve
the fans very well,” Pash said.

And so Berthelsen’s point seems to be that the current system has helped pay for some of the new stadiums.  The real issue is that the league wants to carve out even more of that same money in support of further growth of the game; the union doesn’t want to reduce its slice of the pie absent hard evidence that the reduction is necessary.

For present purposes, none of that is conveyed via Berthelsen’s statement.  It comes off as petty and confusing, and it does nothing to advance the union’s agenda or interests.

That said, we think Pash’s comments misrepresent reality, too.  He tried to tie the union’s reluctance to shrink its current cut of the pie to unrelated issues, like hGH testing and a rookie wage scale, in the hopes of persuading fans that the league wants to make the game better, and that the union doesn’t.

So, basically, this red state/blue state vibe will only make it harder for these supposed partners to establish the trust and momentum necessary for getting a deal done.

13 responses to “Union issues confusing statement in response to Jeff Pash comments

  1. Here’s one for you.
    The FANS pay for 100% of the salaries, 100% of the stadiums, and contribute 100% of the profits the owners make–man up and get this deal done.

  2. I will lose ZERO income if the owners lock them out, or if the players strike…..The only person here who will have a lifestyle change is you Florio…..But keep us updated as to you’re future income

  3. Players need to remember they are not the owners ,but the employee. Many of us would love to take a pay cut to preserve employment. And this is from people that make a minimal hourly wage and can speak clear english. It’s time for reality. Get the most you can to stay employed and be thankful for what you have because you will when you don’t have it anymore. I believe unions are useful during good economic times but fog up reality during difficult times. Maybe it’s time for players to read the newspaper instead of their twitter page.

  4. @durno99 – The union isnt saying they aren’t willing to take a pay cut to preserve employment, they are saying they are unwilling to take a pay cut merely to grow the owners profits. Reality is, football is still under good economic times. If that has changed, the union is merely asking that the NFL prove it. Instead, ticket prices are going up, merchandising is going up, tv rights are going up and the owners are saying they are struggling to grow the game. Meanwhile, the union has given 800 million to also help grow the game. This is a classic union/owner stalemate where the owner is crying poverty, the union says prove it, and the owner, for a myraid of reasons, can’t won’t go that far.
    Its a game of chicken that I personally think will be settled in union’s favor.
    @trytheveal – florico, owners, players, and every other tagential industry that depends on weekly football.

  5. lol anyone who thinks the union can win this battle.
    Every day it seems more like the owners set this up to win in a thrashing. They have the NCAA on their side to paint a picture of agents as evil. They have players making themselves look like fools week in and week out. They have the Jaguars struggling with ticket sales. And, ultimately, they’re making it seem like a small pay cut now, in the middle of a recession where most of the fans are probably more than a little jealous of the money given to people playing a game.
    Yes, fans are likely to lose a few weeks of NFL next year. No more than a month, though. And god forbid if the NFL goes out and gets scabs – We’ll see players betraying their cause left and right by week 2.

  6. Mr. Potter………………….Have you seen the Green Bay Packers fiancial records for 2009-2010? This was a winning team that made the playoffs that is sold out every game! If the teams NFL economy is as you say it is, why are their profits so minimal? You need to take the NFL as a whole, not just the higher end teams such as the Dallas Cowboys!

  7. And god forbid if the NFL goes out and gets scabs – We’ll see players betraying their cause left and right by week 2.

    The NFL owners signed a deal after the last “scabs” saying they would never play another game with replacement players..
    so no more scabs.. if they lock out the union.. they shut down the league.

  8. “take a paycut to grow the league.” bvit misleading to put it like that Mr. Potter. What they are being told is that the sharte that they will get will be less than the 60% now, but it in the long run, IF YOU CONTINUE TO GROW THE BRAND, the 50 odd percent will be worth more. Duh. And why would the players not be on board to grow the brand? Last I checked most reputable businesses not only compensate their employees well, but employees such as NFL players are only serving their own best interests by helping their employers. Or do you believe in a world were there is no money, only hugs, and everyone has rejected the rigid dogma of supply and demand. Yes, I bet your marxist dialect brings all the boys to their feet.

  9. @dabarber
    No they don’t. TV contracts pay the players. Fans buying jerseys barely dent the TV contract values. Ticket sales go to beer vendors and floor sweepers and are priced based on basic market competition and venue required pricing (that’s how much is required to pay for the venue).
    While the fans shouldn’t be ignored, in theory the game could be played with no one watching it because the vast majority of the money comes from other contracts. While those contracts would go away if no one watched it (See the WNBA), fans don’t directly contribute much at all in terms of money flow.
    The real problem is that the players want to contribute less than they take in. If the owners want a new stadium, the players don’t want to kick in 60%. If the players want contracts, the owners don’t want to pay 60%. The compromise is the players kick in the percent they earn. I think most of the owners would go for that.
    The players need to kick in another 200 million dollars on the Jets/Giants stadium (1 billion) for them to be paying “their share”.

  10. I see a Goose that lays Golden eggs LETS KILL IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The owners and players will F this up !!!!!!

  11. Funny I thought the owners of the Giants and the jets built the new place and are covering the cost with PSL and ticket sales.
    For an employee to piss and moan about the owners making money is silly If the business does not grow it will die.
    Then you will have a bunch of gym teachers and garbage men looking for work

  12. prophet of the light says:
    Genius, the players are subsidizing the portion that goes to build the stadiums, just like they subsidized NFL Europe when it was around.

  13. The owners hold all the cards. The NFLPU can cry all they want, but without the owners money they make nothing. 90 percent of the NFL owners can simply move on. Can the players? Nope.

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