In March when you turn on SportsCenter, you’d expect to see something along the lines of commentator Dick Vitale, with his trademark enthusiasm, arguing his case for why he believes an underdog team will win the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Whether there will be a 2011 NFL season is usually near the back of most sports enthusiasts’ minds.
In 2008, NFL owners voted to exit their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the National Football League Players Union (NFLPA) at the end of the 2010 season. The owners were frustrated with the fact that they received only 40 percent of the NFL’s profits, or roughly $3.5 billion.
The players and owners could not come to any agreements on how to run the league, so the players decertified their union. This action allowed individual players to attempt to use antitrust legislature against the NFL, in order to win rights for the players.
While both sides do present some valid arguments, the fact that this situation escalated to where it is now is ridiculous. The NFL brings in $9 billion annually, yet the players and owners cannot find a way to share this money. Most would think nine billion dollars, which is higher than the GDP of some small countries, would be enough to go around for the members of the NFL.
The disagreement is essentially an argument for money, but the players and owners in the NFL all make enough money to afford very comfortable lives.
Every fall, thousands of kids suit up to play football, whether it be in a Pop Warner or a High School league, although they are paid nothing. These kids suit up because they enjoy the game, and love playing it.
More members of the NFL, from players to general managers, need to remember why they got into football in the first place: a love of the game. To let America’s most popular sport miss an entire season due to monetary issues is crazy, and should not happen.
Both sides need to make concessions to ensure the most important goal: a 2011-2012 football season.