Questions About Labor Talks

Here are some questions that I have, and I don’t know where to look to get the answers:

·         Why doesn’t the NFL have an antitrust exemption? 

o   From what I understand, the MLB does, so what is the NFL lacking that doesn’t grant them the exemption?

·         What is it that the players want that hasn’t been offered to them?

o   I heard the players cries for retirement benefits, better health care, health and life insurance, rookie wage scales, and no 18 game schedule.  The proposal the owners offered them (at least the one they said they offered them) includes all of those things.

o   The players keep saying that this would be the worst deal ever offered in professional sports, but what is the context for that?  They have offered no explanation for that statement, and continue not to qualify what it is they want out of this deal.

o   The players have to understand by now that they aren’t going to get a continuation of the last deal.  Obviously the owners aren’t happy, and it’s not like they’ll just cave in because of the threat of litigation.

·         Why do people keep insisting that the players aren’t asking for more?

o   The players want non-monetary benefits like health and life insurance, better safety regulations, better health care, etc.

o   The non-monetary benefits for the players cost money.  The money will be coming out of the owners’ share of the revenue, yet the players don’t want the owners to get any more money than they get now. 

o   When dealing with percentages of money, with total revenue rising, money due to the players will increase.  There will not be any money taken from the players.  Their contracts will not be affected by the change in the sharing ratio.  What would change is the cap number, which quite frankly is irrelevant due to the fact that none of the teams operate over the cap.  Most teams aren’t close to the cap either. 

o   The current players are asking for the rookie wage scale so that unproven rookies won’t come in and make more money than the veterans that have been playing for years.  They want the money that is saved by instituting this wage scale to be redistributed to the veterans.  Owners generally like the idea of the wage scale because it reduces their risk in the draft.  This point works for both sides, but for different reasons.  The players that should be pissed are the rookies coming in this year, because they’re really the ones on the losing end of this negotiation point.

·         What the hell have they been doing for the last two years?

o   Why is it that they didn’t realize all of these issues before the last month of the CBA?

o   I know that there have been a litany of court cases and moves made for positioning on both sides, but to what avail?  Neither side has really made any progress, and both are facing backlash from the NFL’s fans. 

o   The only information the casual fan has is that both sides say the other is either unreasonable, or lying.  We have no idea what the truth is, and people are getting frustrated if they weren’t already. 

o   There is no truly unbiased source out there from which fans can receive reliable information.

·         Why did the decertification of the NFLPA happen?

o   What can the new "organized trade association" do that the players union couldn’t?

o   What strategic advantage can be gained from filing an antitrust lawsuit against your employers? 

o   How can the NFLPA hold a draft ceremony for the rookies that they have asked not to attend the draft when the NFLPA doesn’t technically exist?

Alfie’s article was spot on about people just wanting a deal to get done.  I, however, am of a more inquisitive nature.  I like to know the details.  If someone can please honestly answer any or all of my questions, it would be much appreciated.  I don’t feel the need to hide that I’m on the owners’ side of things in these negotiations.  I don’t believe that the players were treated unfairly, or that the deal offered by the owners was bad in any way.  I know that I’m missing a lot of information though, and I want to be informed.  Please someone help me out!

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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