The Contemptible NFL Lockout
Originally Aired: Tuesday, March 15, 2011. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
While certainly not breaking news, the NFL lockout which started on Saturday, is still one of the biggest stories as the repercussions of the antitrust suit continue to be realized. A federal court judge will hold a hearing on April 6 in St. Paul Minnesota. However, since the union moved to decertify itself on Friday and file a federal antitrust suit, it means that teams cannot sign player contracts or make trades, and players and coaches cannot be in contact.
The lockout is totally ridiculous though – the players and unions are quibbling over $9 billion of television revenue. Not $9 million, but $9 billion. And while the owners whose franchise values will not diminish if next season is locked out might not feel the pressure to resolve the issue, there are much further reaching economic. Football is a huge industry – and a lockout will affect everyone from the concession stand workers to the children who live in suburban towns with stadiums, like Foxboro, Massachusetts, where tax dollars from the New England Patriots' games help to fund a plethora of municipal needs.
If the players' request for a preliminary injunction is granted, the lockout would end and the sport would reopen for business. The league would have to establish work rules, however, similar to the ones in place last season, when there was no salary cap. Either side could appeal the judge’s decision to a higher court.
In 2009, Sports Illustrated that 78% of NFL players file for bankruptcy – a staggering statistic when you think about the amount of squandered money. Hopefully both sides will realize how contemptible this debate makes them seem when there are millions of people living in poverty in the world and especially given the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsuinamis in Japan this week.