NFL lockout: rich people squabble over more

Jay Guillory

The National Football League ordered a lockout after talks between the league and the players’ union collapsed, resulting in the first workers’ strike in America’s most popular professional sport in nearly a quarter of a century. The reason the league and players were unable to reach an agreement was over a range of issues, including how to divide more than $9 billion in annual revenues.

The NFL is a billion dollar corporation with national and global influence and while the lockout is being disputed, do the owners care about what will happen to businesses and communities that depend on football for economic relief? Personally, football Sundays are a great time to get together with friends and chow down on some junk food at a sports bar and enjoy the game day atmosphere.

If the lockout isn’t solved I know restaurants and bars will take a big hit financially without the excitement of NFL football. It’s really selfish of these millionaires to argue over a bigger cut of the pie when mom and pop establishments are fighting just to stay in business.

We’re dealing with a national crisis that will result in turmoil not only for these millionaire players and owners but also the fans and business owners. I know I won’t be spending my money at these establishments and I believe the nation feels similar to me.

Under the expired collective bargaining agreement signed in 2006, owners received a guaranteed $1 billion of the annual revenue while the players earned roughly 60 percent of everything else. Now the league owners have had a change of heart and want to increase their guaranteed money. They argue the down economy has raised operational costs since the last deal, but the players want to maintain the previous agreement.

The players’ union points out that the league is at all-time highs in popularity and revenue. Just this year the NFL posted records for television and numerous amounts of NFL players are on commercials that constantly run on TV programs, so why should the owners have any complaints about their earnings?

The players’ union isn’t asking for extra money from the owners, they just want a valid reason for the change of the salary. The players would consider a more equitable split if the owners open their record books and show the claims of rising costs, but the owners want to be taken at their word.

Both sides will continue to hold out for a solution with the next season just around the corner, but if an agreement isn’t established, league officials estimated a lockout would cost the game $120 million by the end of last month, and will rise to $1 billion by September.

It’s really an unfortunate circumstance that has been criticized by the media and even President Barack Obama for the NFL to be fighting over a fortune when thousands of families in America are struggling to survive in today’s economy.