09.30.2010 0

The Big Labor Virus Has Struck The NFL: Financial Preparation

  • On: 10/04/2010 10:08:54
  • In: Big Labor
  • By Adam Bitely

    While many are paying attention to the upcoming mid-term elections, there is a lockout looming in the NFL which many more Americans will notice than the election results in November. The threat of the NFL Players Association, the labor union that represents professional football players in the NFL, to go on strike for the 2011 season is a guarantee at this point. But what has each side done to get ready for the brewing labor fight?

    The NFL has positioned itself well. As we noted last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done a good job of laying out a plan of how operations will continue in the NFL during a lockout situation. But Commissioner Goodell has done more than just announce a plan. He has taken the steps to ensure that the NFL will remain financially stable while the NFLPA holds out on playing football.

    The NFLPA created a document titled “The League’s Steps to Prepare for a Lockout & A Labor Battle” outlining the steps that the NFL has taken to prepare itself for the lockout that the NFLPA will stage. In this document, the labor union attempts to frame the NFL as a money hungry organization that is trying to strong arm its way through the lockout. But if you look at it the way that Goodell and the NFL is, they are taking precautionary steps to ensure that the league is not damaged by such a move from the union.

    Consider the following.

    In May of 2009 the NFL signed contract deals with Fox and CBS that would guarantee payments even if there is no football being played. Further, the NFL has also launched a website, NFLlabor.com, where the league addresses the issues brought forth by the union.

    The NFL has also taken the step to “lawyer up” should a lockout start over the next collective bargaining agreement. The league retained Bob Batterman, an expert labor-relations attorney who represented the National Hockey League in its 2004-2005 lockout and is widely credited for weakening the NHL’s labor union.

    The only thing that can be seen from the document put forth by the union is that the NFL is acting responsibly in its preparations for an almost certain labor battle. But what has DeMaurice Smith done to set the NFLPA on good ground?

    The NFLPA is yet to inform the public of what it is doing to make sure that its members are taken care of if there is a lockout. Smith has said himself that the lockout is guaranteed. While Smith and the union are busy criticizing the steps taken by the NFL to protect themselves, players who are supposed to be “protected” by the union appear to be left hanging out to dry and used as pawns to achieve the goals of Big Labor.

    The NFLPA has spent more time criticizing the NFL over its steps to prevent damage than it has discussing the real issues that are at hand in a lockout. At this point, the NFLPA is staged to be the party that prevents football from happening in 2011 rather than the appearance of being the victim.

    Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com.

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