Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » NFL Players Union Plays Its Trump Card: Decertification

NFL Players Union Plays Its Trump Card: Decertification

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Riddle me this; riddle me that: what is worse than a game without a bat? The answer is perhaps a game without players. That is the ugly prospect in the National Football League labor dispute with its players, and things took a decidedly ominous turn today when the NFL Players Association made the decision to decertify as a union.

Football fans everywhere may be asking why did they do this, but it makes perfect sense since their negotiations with the NFL are going nowhere. Since a lockout was no doubt imminent, the NFLPA’s choice makes sense because of this: if they are not a union then they can sue the NFL in federal court under antitrust laws.

The prospect of this getting resolved any time soon seems unlikely. The NFL can counter sue the NFLPA in some way, probably noting that the decertification process was only meant to set up this possibility of suing before the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) expired. Either way there looks like no end is in sight and that’s not good news for the players or the fans.

NFLPA Executive Direct DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been involved in negotiations that have been going nowhere. What is the problem, you may ask? The answer is 750 million of them (dollars, of course). That was the gap between what the players wanted and the owners refused to give.

As it seems this thing could take months to be worked out in the courts, the worry here is that it will jeopardize training camps and even the start of the season. What doesn’t make sense is why either side would want to ruin the good thing that they have going here.

Of all American sports, football has to be the most lucrative one in the nation. The amount of money generated by games, merchandising, and advertising is overwhelmingly more substantial than from any other sport. The grandaddy of all championships is the Super Bowl, a marketing and entertainment juggernaut that is second to none.

So why are these guys spoiling a good thing? The answer is that the owners like their huge piece of the pie and don’t want to share; they also don’t want to disclose the ingredients or the baking process. Will the lawsuit force the lords and ladies of football to pry open the castle vault doors and reveal all the secrets to the recipe? Maybe, or perhaps they will come to an understanding, learn to play nice and share more, and this whole thing will just go away.

At least that’s what I’m hoping for. As a Jets fan, I don’t want my team distracted in any way by all this. Let’s hope this will move things forward and get something resolved soon, or otherwise we’ll be looking at them playing the Super Bowl around Easter next year.

Photo Credit: AP

Powered by

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • Deathrider6

    As a Seattle Seahawks fan the labor dispute is annoying. As much as I want to see things resolved I would still watch if the NFL went with replacements. I remember some of the best football I had ever enjoyed was the replacement games. On the other hand I got the vibe that neither side really wanted to give up anything in the negotiations. Sad but I’ll wait and see what happens. Here’s to a full season this year on time with the usual talent, drama and pagentry.