NFL Labor Negotiations: How Greed Is Ruining the Great American Sport

Trae ThompsonSenior Analyst IMarch 1, 2011

Roger Goodell
Roger GoodellDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's pathetic really, if you think about it.

Up in some stuffy building today in Washington D.C., NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith will meet with a federal mediator. The deadline looms to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement and prevent a potential lockout by the owners.

Hey, I'm all for capitalism. I'm all for players maximizing their abilities and getting paid millions. If owners want to build a new stadium, and have taxpayers vote for it? Fine.

What I have a problem with is seeing greed take over a sport that has become an American institution and provides enjoyment and entertainment for millions.

How bad is it? You'll enjoy this.

Last Thursday, according to, union reps were arguing that owners shouldn't have access to $4 billion in television revenue if there is no football this coming season. Owners say it's critical for them to have this money because "they'll enable teams to manage their debt service during a work stoppage."

I warned you. Hey, it gets better!

How about this: Owners want to take an additional $1 billion from the current $9 billion in total revenue. Something about using it to "grow the game."

Players, however, whine and stomp and say that the 60 percent they receive from the most recent collective bargaining agreement is still not half the 50 percent of the total revenue.

"So when you look at the issue of all revenue from what everybody in here wants to believe and understand about how we recognize whether a deal is fair," DeMaurice Smith told the Newark Star-Ledger. "What is the split of revenue between players and owners? 50."

Incredible, isn't it? Now it's nonsense like this that could lead to a lockout and a chance that our Sundays may be a little different this fall.

There are other issues involved that both sides are discussing. They are talking about extending the season and a rookie wage scale. The former could happen, but that would mean altering other things like training camp. The latter could also be fixed, and the league could look to the NBA's system used for rookies.

I hope this all gets hammered out by Friday, when the current labor agreement is set to expire. There are reports that they could extend the 11:59 p.m. deadline if a settlement is near.

Keep in mind that this would be the first work stoppage since the players' strike in 1987. They also had one in 1982.

In the meantime, you and I will keep working hard and trying to make sure we can pay the bills. I know some of you would love to sound off about it. Here's a way to do it. Maybe they'll listen.

I doubt it.

Money is all that matters right now. Like I said: Pretty pathetic.