The Bryant Clipper
NFL Lockout: What Exactly is the Issue?Wednesday, April 06, 2011 By Alexander Kolokotronis
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 The NFL lockout began a little more than a week after the previous CBA (collective bargaining agreement) expired on March 3. The lockout by the NFL owners was much in response to the decertification of the NFLPA (NFL Players Association). As a result, 10 current players such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Osi Umenyiora and a host of former players, such as Priest Holmes, have filed an anti-trust lawsuit in opposition to the owners. Many football fans may be asking what does this mean for the league, or simply just what does this really mean? Decertification is defined in two parts. The first part of the definition which has been applied here is when " employees of a firm can disassociate themselves from a specific union" (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/decertification.html). This begs the question as to why the players would want to do this. After-all it would seem from a practical standing that they're disbanding from each other. Altogether this is not true at all. Instead it has opened up players to the opportunity of pursuing legal action such as the lawsuit previously mentioned. Yet, the real question is: why is there a dispute at all? The NFL made approximately $9 billion this past year. One large looming question is how to divide this money up along the lines of the players and owners. While the players have maintained that they want to keep the same percentage of intake at about 60 percent of revenue (although this has plausibly shown to be in reality much lower), the owners have want to reduce this to as far down as 40 percent and are not keen on the idea of sharing 50-50. The players are also finding the owners to be tremendously hypocritical as they have pledged themselves recently to make professional football safely while simultaneously asking to extend the NFL season by two more regular season games. The players contend that this is dangerous to their health and strictly done for reasons of profit from which they will not gain. From 2000 to 2003 there were a total of 6558 injuries in the NFL. In accordance with this information shown it is reasonable to assume that the owners would want to shorten up the increasing rate of individual salaries. This is exactly what has been proposed through the institution of a strong salary cap. One issue for the players is better healthcare after the ending of their careers. The players essentially want to extend the previous CBA. There is an agreement on the reduction of rookie salaries, but that's about it. Commissioner Roger Goodell has argued that while the NFL is at its most profitable position it has ever been, there are holes within the previous CBA that may pose major problems for the future economic stability of the NFL. This may be a bit of a stretch as 25 of the 32 teams, according to Forbes, are worth at least $900 million. Also, the total amount of annual rights fees from ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC and DirecTV adds up to over $4 trillion. Still, some may ask what exactly are the owners fighting for? A question you may have to directly ask them.