The NFL isn’t happy about the players’ association’s decision to decertify in an attempt to win their bloody battle with the league. But neither is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Here’s a statement posted on the Chamber’s website today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits, Randel K. Johnson, issued the following statement today on the decision by the NFL Players Association to decertify as a union:

“We are troubled by the decision of the NFL Players to decertify as a union so that they may litigate under the antitrust laws, with the prospect that once the litigation is over they will again claim they are a union. Gaming the labor laws and the antitrust laws offers a potentially disastrous model for labor-management relations in this country and raises serious questions of labor policy.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

So not only are the stubborn players ruining football in America, they’re pretty much ruining America in general.

It’s obvious at this point that the Goal-Line Stand is in the owners’ corner. We’ve gone back and forth on this, and both parties are at fault for being far too selfish and greedy and letting that greed jeopardize a remarkably lucrative product, but the players have taken a little leverage and used it to twist the league’s arm to a point of no return. I find it hard to believe they were bargaining in good faith, knowing full well that litigation would benefit them more so than collective bargaining.

DeMaurice Smith and his cohorts have been very snaky over the last few weeks. I don’t care that the owners are richer. Do I think these billionaires need more cash to take advantage of tax payers by building newer, more lavish stadiums? Hell no. But at this point, the NFL owners are the lesser of two evils.

Comments (11)

  1. Really? The owners? If they’d open up their books all this could be avoided. NFL owners say they aren’t making enough money, fine, show your books to the players and prove it. Until the owners are willing to demonstrate how tough things have been for them I find it impossible to side with the owners.

  2. Explain why the players should accept less money than they earned in 2009 (at a time when league revenues are at an all-time high and player injuries are worse than ever) and maybe you can be taken seriously. You should read Bill Simmons’ piece on the greed of the owners and then try to take the ridiculous stand you just took. Sure, the players union is using some shady legal tactics. To come right out and blame them for this mess is ridiculous.

    • I read Simmons’ piece. And Rick Reilly’s. And Mike Silver’s. I agree with them on the surface, but they’ve painted this thing with far too broad strokes. The owners simply want to re-adjust a one-sided deal from 2006. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae has admitted the union got a sweet-ass deal then, and it’s time to even that out a bit.

      That’s why the players want the status quo (their sweet deal) and the owners want something back. Naturally the owners started with an extra $1 billion. This is how a negotiations work. By the time we reached doomsday, the league had offered to split the difference and essentially meet in the middle. They also offered to allocate money to health care for retired players and dropped the 18-game season. There was almost nothing more they could have done.

      As for the whole open books thing: they’re already offering MORE than they legally have to. Keep in mind that the owners are the employers and the players are the employees. Do you work for a private company? Next time you negotiate your salary, ask to see their full audited financial statements dating back 10 years. See what happens.

  3. My work situation and the NFL is very different. If I ask to see the books, they so no, there’s nothing I can do about it, if I leave they can just find someone else to replace me. I can also go and work for a different company. That reality doesn’t exist in the NFL. The owners need the players because there is literally no game without them and the players don’t have an option to find a different company because the NFL has a legal monopoly. To compare a regular joe’s working situation to that in the NFL isn’t only simple minded it’s foolish because they are nothing alike.

  4. You have a poor understanding of this situation, Brad.

  5. As a frequent commenter here I would like to clarify that the above Greg in no way represents my opinion or sentiment.

  6. Brad has a perfect understanding of the situation. Guy’s been writing about this shit every step of the way. He knows what he’s talking about …. That point about private companies not having to give up their books is dead on and has been used elsewhere in many places. Why would the league give up the numbers if they don’t have to! This is bargaining! Idiots. Brad knows way more about this shit than any of you clowns.

  7. Actually, idiot, it’s not bargaining anymore, it’s litigation. And why give up the numbers when they don’t have to? Why would the players give up money when they don’t have to? It’s the whole damn reason for this process. I never said Brad doesn’t understand what he’s talking about, I know Brad. I just disagree with his siding with the owners. You have no idea what my understanding on this entire topic is, the only person that’s obviously a clown here is you trey.

  8. Idiots, the NFL is not a legal monopoly. Players can choose to go play in CFL or UFL and make decent salaries.

    And there are several private monopolies in the country, none of whom are forced to reveal private financial info to the people that work for em.

    Player union had all the peoples support and then they got greedy, even more greedy than their bosses.

  9. Mike your good. Its Greg I was calling out. We just disagree.

  10. You do realize the CFL is in a different country right?

    And while not techincaly a legal monopoly, the NFL and other major sports organizations are exempt from US Antitrust law, it’s just easier to say legal monopoly which for the most part (there are of course some differences) are the same thing.

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