Union leader: NFL lockout in 2011 quite possible – ESPN


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Sports unions were created to serve a purpose that they no longer adhere to. If the NFL moves for a lockout during the 2011 season, I will stop supporting the league. Professional sports in America are unattainable for the average family and continue to propagate a lifestyle of greed and celebrity. Gated communities and fleets of million dollar cars are all that is left behind in their wake. I’m sorry but something is just not right!!!

Excerpts below from : Union leader: NFL lockout in 2011 quite possible – ESPN

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The question to DeMaurice Smith was simple, coming from Cincinnati receiver Chad Ochocinco, asking how serious he viewed the possibility of football not being played in 2011.
Smith did not hesitate.
“On a scale of 1 to 10,” Smith said Thursday, “it’s a 14.”
With that, the executive director of the NFL Players Association painted perhaps the bleakest picture yet regarding prospects of labor strife in the league, which could be looking at a 2010 season with no salary cap and, if the collective bargaining agreement expires as scheduled in March 2011, a lockout that year.
“I keep coming back to an economic model in America that is unparalleled,” said Smith, who often repeated phrases for emphasis. “And that makes it incredibly difficult to then come to players and say, on average, each of you needs to take a $340,000 pay cut to save the National Football League. Tough sell. Tough sell.”
Smith said the NFL would receive $5 billion from its network television deals even if no games are played in 2011. He regarded that as proof owners are preparing for a lockout.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denied Smith’s assertions.

“You don’t make money by shutting down your business,” Goodell said on Sirius NFL Radio, according to USA Today. “The idea that the owners want to lock out and not play football is absolutely not the case. That’s just not good for anybody.”
Some of Smith’s nearly hour-long question-and-answer session during Super Bowl week was spent reiterating past claims, such as team values increasing “almost 500 percent” over the last 15 years. There was also a call to have all 32 NFL teams open their books to show who was losing money and how much.

“We’ve told them, ‘Don’t go out and buy a new boat. Don’t go out and buy a new car. Pay off whatever debts you have,’ ” said Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts. “These are things we’ve been learning from history.”
Smith and Mawae said that if next season goes forward with no salary cap, it would be highly unlikely to have a new CBA with a cap reinstated.
“Virtually impossible,” Smith said.
“A very difficult task,” Mawae said.
Asked about the owners’ assertion that the 18 percent pay cut request was false, Mawae said did not hold back:
“That is not true,” he said. “That is absolutely true they’ve asked for 18 percent.”
Meantime, the union is increasing dues for now with the idea of returning the money as income to players, if needed, during a lockout.
“Our guys get it,” Mawae said. “Our guys understand.”

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