While we recently posted on a story about how the league is turning to players to help with stadium and facility upkeep, the Washington Posts' Sally Jenkins puts the owners position into startling elitist perspectives.
The owners are lucky that the collective bargaining process is so convoluted, and the language of their argument with the players is hard to understand. Because when you peel away the headachy legal terms and expose their real position, it can be summed up very simply: They believe they are entitled to make money every year, even in the midst of disastrous recessions. They think they are owed a living.
But Jenkins talk about the overall perception; which group of owners receive more guarantees than owners of other businesses?
If this Washington Post op/ed is any indication, it's that the league will wage a losing battle in the court of public opinion.
On Thursday the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to mediation with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen. He released a statement on Thursday:
“I have had separate, informal discussions with the key representatives of the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association during the course of their negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement. At the invitation of the FMCS, and with the agreement of both parties, the ongoing negotiations will now be conducted under my auspices in Washington, D.C. commencing Friday, February 18.
“Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the FMCS’s long-standing practice, the Agency will refrain from any public comment concerning the future schedule and/or the status of those negotiations until further notice.”
But unlike arbitration where a third-party hears both sides and makes a decision for everyone, a mediator basically just listens to both sides and mediates the conversation. When asked about it on Friday, Bengals offensive lineman and player representative Andrew Whitworth supported the move saying that "mediation is always good."
Whit went into the differences between both sides.
It helps sometimes to have somebody in the middle, but as I’ve said before it’s just a tough time and I think that things have just come to a head to where things have worked out the way they have. You’ve got the owners on a side where they feel like they gave us a really good deal in ’06 and now they want a cut back from us on the other side. As players, we feel the deal we have is good and there is no real reason to change it because TV ratings and everything that is media driven is at all time highs so for us it’s a confusing thing to look at.
You almost have to have some sort of mediation because, in this day and age, you see so many guys who are media-driven with Twitter and Facebook and all that kind of stuff. Everything is so media-driven that all we see is nothing but success with what is going on with the NFL and fantasy football and all of these things, so for us that’s all we see. It’s tough for us to see the other side of where we need a pay cut.