So now there have been two accusations made by the league against the players’ union in the last 24 hours, one of which is quite serious and quite official, and the other demonstrates the canyon-sized communication gap that’s still growing.
Last night the NFL filed an unfair labour practice charge against the union with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the NFLPA has failed to “bargain in good faith” because of their strategy of desertification. The claim was immediately refuted, with the union reminding the owners that they chose to opt out of the current CBA, a move resulting in the strong possibility of a lockout once the agreement expires on March 4.
The league’s filing greatly widened the chasm between the two sparring groups, and today the league’s denial of any CBA negotiation meetings scheduled for this week continued to feed the pessimism surrounding the labour strife. A union spokesperson reportedly told ESPN that two sessions were tentatively scheduled for later this week, and the union was just waiting on e-mail confirmation from the league. The meetings were to take place Tuesday and Wednesday.
What happened next depends on who you’d like to listen to, but doesn’t everything now? The union claims that e-mail confirmation was not sent by the league, essentially implying that they’re the victims of Roger Goodell and the gang not wanting to pull up a seat at the table.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells a very different story–again, shocking–saying that no meetings were even tentatively scheduled this week, and that the union’s claims are “complete fiction.”
“There were no meetings scheduled, so there was nothing to re-confirm,” Aiello told ESPN.
So to review, in the span of several days we’ve gone from shrugging our shoulders and saying that bickering and posturing are very much a part of any labour process, to the media Batman and Robin duo of Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter citing sources who are legitimately worried about the 2011 season.
Only 17 days to go before the work stoppage is official. And then it’s to infinity, and beyond?