Monday, June 13, 2011

Thoughts on the NFL labor dispute

For those not familiar with the situation, there may not be a NFL season this fall because of a labor dispute. Simply, the contract between the players and owners is up, and they have to write a new one. They can’t agree to what should be in the new contract, so the owners may end up locking the players out. I am a football fan, I enjoy the sport, so obviously I want to see them play. The main argument seems to be (while at one point it seemed to be as to whether there should be an 18 game schedule instead of a 16 game schedule, talk of this seems to have died down) as to how to share 9 billion dollars in revenue. How can they not share 9 billion dollars? The players want a bigger piece of the pie than what they have been getting, while the owners want to keep their much larger piece and perhaps expand it. The greed is indicative of the capitalistic system we find ourselves in. Its hard to be sympathetic with players who make millions of dollars (the big reps and union defenders have been Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, two of the highest paid players in the league, how come millionaires can have unions but not teachers? I am waiting for Republican lawmakers to go after these unions), but the owners are even greedier. They are billionaires.

This system is a joke, the fans are not thought of, only the greed of millionaires and billionaires is considered. I suggest that each city, that has a team in it, owns their team, or people are allowed to buy stocks in the team like the Green Bay Packers already allow (they do not have a real owner, instead people can own part of the team). In this system, the greedy billionaire is replaced, and players would get paid between 100,000 dollars to 250,000 dollars a year, depending on their talent level, get retirement packages (that comes from the league) of half their average salaries for the rest of their lives and would of course be free to work after they retire from football if they liked (and could pay into and draw from social security like the rest of us). For city owned teams, any profits made off the team goes to the city, which will hold ballot initiatives to decide how to spend the money. After all, the teams make money by people spending their money by going to the games, and buying memorabilia, so shouldn’t the people get back that money in some way? Or should the money go to billionaires and millionaires?

I originally posted this article on my political blog in April.

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