Thursday was the first day of court-ordered mediation, a continuation of the process that failed on March 11, resulting in decertification of the players’ union, the filing of an antitrust class-action lawsuit, and eventually a lockout.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the situation, that the 9.5 hours of talks were “tough,” and that the two sides have a lot of “fence-mending” to do.
That’s actually good news, in our view. To the extent that fences need to be mended, the only way to mend them is to (drum roll, please) mend them.
That said, it’s disappointing that both sides allowed business to become personal. They all remain stewards of the game that so many of us love, and permitting themselves to get their noses out of joint to the point that it impacts the negotiations amounts to a failure to take care of the best interests of the sport.
Meanwhile, we’re surprised that someone with knowledge of the talks talked to the media. Though we appreciate the fact that Breer is doing his job and doing it well, the two sides have been ordered to zip it. And zipping it isn’t a discretionary exercise, with folks deciding on their own the things that are suitable for being repeated.
Besides, once the process of sharing information on an anonymous basis begins, where does it end?
Quite possibly, with the judge instructing the reporter(s) to disclose their sources. And all that that implies.