Blog Entry

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:46 am
DeMaurice Smith Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A labor attorney representing the NFL owners made a pretty interesting accusation Wednesday. Basically, Bob Batterman told the Washington Post that the NFLPA actually wants the owners to lock out the players.

Instead of focusing on negotiating with the owners, Batterman says the NFLPA is working on lobbying in Washington D.C. and strategizing for litigation. To him, that means the NFLPA isn’t serious about talking about a new CBA.

"If you want to litigate, if you want to get Congress involved, you want a lockout to occur and you want the clock to run out (on negotiations) so your decertification and litigation strategy can come into play," Batterman told the paper. "This is not a union eager to avoid a lockout. This is a union waiting for a lockout to occur."

That obviously is hard to confirm – and also hard to casually toss it away as sheer politicking. The teams already have voted to decertify in case of a lockout, because that makes it easier for the NFLPA to bring an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL if need be and because it would give the union tremendous leverage.

The union also lately has been rather adamant in accusing the owners of procuring lockout insurance, because they’ll still get paid by the networks even if there are no games next season.

Whether any of that confirms Batterman’s charge is unknowable. It could simply be due diligence by the NFLPA or because they’re trying to swing the fans on their side.

Responded Richard Berthelsen, the union's general counsel: “(NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith) does not want a lockout, and he has proved that by offering to extend the current CBA to avoid one. Batterman, on the other hand, has been advocating a lockout since the first day he became involved. I have been involved since the '70s, and I can tell you that the word lockout wasn't even in the NFL's vocabulary until he came around."

Not that any of this back and forth should be surprising. It’s a labor fight and it’s a PR battle, and it probably will get nastier before it gets better. But it’s also hard to tell if this is a real problem and if there are real problems of trust. Or if this is all traditional grand-standing.

NFL fans hope it’s the latter, because if not, this certainly isn’t a good sign.

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Category: NFL

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:29 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

Magnificent simple write-up! I must notice a adopt as a result of this particular point??

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:36 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:00 pm
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Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2011 5:55 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

Who's the real loser in all of this?  The fans.  We dish out a lot of money to see our favorite teams and players on the field.  We dish out $40 to park at the stadium.  We dish out (for most teams) $50-60 for the cheapest tickets in the stadium.  We dish extra cash in the form of increased hotel taxes and rental car taxes to pay for the stadium to be built (in most cities).  We are the financial backbone of every team in every pro sports league.  Yet we see lock out after strike after lock out.  It's painful to see the players and owners fight when they make in one year what most of us will never see in a lifetime.  I'm not blaming them for making the money they make.  They have a rare talent that they used to get ahead in life.  Who wouldn't?  All I'm saying is if there is a lock out then it'll just be another slap in the face for die hard sports fans out there.  At the end of the day we just want to see our favorite teams and players on the field.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 4:31 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

I know this isn't all about money but about medical insurance and pension benefits. I do agree with some of the comments that there should be some kind of rookie salary cap. No rookie should come into the NFL and make more than any vetern player that has already proven themselves. I do have to agree with some of things that the players have asked for and that is the medical insurance has to be better than what it is today. I have to pay 15% of medical insurance and my company pays the rest. I think the players should do the same it's not going to hurt them. Maybe it will cut down on partying, drug use and off field violence activity. If there is a strike the NFL better do something to get the fans to come back because there is going to be some bitterness toward the owners and players.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:54 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

The owners want to have it all and eat their cake too. They want the following:
1. 18 game season- this is the one thing that players absolutely do not want to agree to.
2.They want the players to agree to accept a lower % of the revenue. Players dont want to do this, but i'm sure they ultimately will. They even talked about a stadium fund being created and wanting players to contribute to it since the owners bear the costs alone of "growing the game." At the end of the day, I think the player's share will be reduced from 58%-60% it currently is down to about 53%-55%
3. Rookie salary cap. Players wont have any problem agreeing to this one. Most of them think its ridiculous that Sam Bradford was guaranteed $50 million before ever playing a down in the NFL.

If I was in the players shoes, I would agree to take:
53% of revenue, allow the 18 game schedule, and allow the rookie salary cap. However, the concession I would want from the following from the owners:
franchise player designation is abolished- NFL is the only league where a player can be come an unrestricted free agent and still not be able to leave because owners can place this tag on them. I know the tag ensures them being paid as one of the best at their position, but sometimes its not about money. Sometimes a player may want to leave because they simply hate playing for the coach or hate the owner.
increased benefits for retired players

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:36 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

how, as fans, can we settle this matter? is there any chance of a class-action law suit from season ticket holders? sure, i'm skating on crazy ice here, but this is the same country that a woman sued mcdonalds over spilling a cup of coffee on herself, and got a settlement.

the only real way to get through is by true loss. i suggest a petition from fans across america to boycott the nfl in 2011-2012 unless an agreement is made by march 1. ah, if only the fans had an attorney fighting our fight. someone to head up the cause of the fans. what do the fans want? we want cheaper concessions and seats, and we want the game to go on. pretty simple measures.

i find it funny that fans even consider consider choosing one side or the other. why would you take allegence with either? first off, the owners millions of our dollars year after year. we find the product good enough to keep paying. they have expenses, but let's not be fooled into them tricking us that the players are the only ones being greedy.

before you consider that i'm siding with the players, you have to hear my stance on them. yes, they're greedy. they're trying to get their cut, and perhaps that cut is too high. the length of their careers is short, and i've got no condolences for the dollars they piss away instead of preparing for a life after football. i believe more players than not, are doing a better job in this area, but they've got plenty of dollars to save for their futures.

you can't take a side, because we the fans are on our own side. we want football. we want the price of football to remain the same, or perhaps get even cheaper. i could write a hundred articles on the subject, possibly better than anyone at cbs.

Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:19 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

All either side has to look at is the major league baseball strike in 1994, the basketball lockout in 1998, and the fact that hockey lost a season a few years back, and look what happened?  It took years for baseball to recover, and basketball and hockey have been nowhere near as popular since then.

The NFL has a great thing going on as far as a revenue-pumping machine.  Precedent shows that only both sides lose when there is a lockout, strike, whatever.  If the salary cap is determined by percentages, what's the use in fighting for a couple of extra points when the pool that determines the cap level plummets due to fan protest?  Don't think it's gonna happen, look at baseball.

In an economy where people are struggling to make ends meet (if they even have the jobs to provide the income to make ends meet) it doesn't matter which side is more to blame if there is a stoppage, public opinion will be equally vile towards both sides.  When millionaires fight millionaires for a few extra dollars, the middle and lower class fan base (your core fan base) do not and WILL NOT have sympathy for ANY of you!

So Matt Birk, Dominic Foxworth, the NFLPA council, and the NFL council, here's a message from the "common folk"...stop wasting your energy talking to the media and negotiate an agreement!  If there is no football next year, nobody will care what any of you have to say!

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:41 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

Lawyers paid by one side in a dispute will say amazing things, I wish the media would not print them.    

I for one do not understand what this fight is really about, I think the players would change the dates on the current CBA and keep going, but I do not know what the owners want,  18 games, not really a problem, Lower salary for 1st round rookies, both I think are negotiable if the players still keep the same % of revenue. 

Heck the NFL is only league without fully guaranteed contracts, what do the owners really want the players will not give them.  Anyone heard.

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:38 pm

Owners' labor attorney fires out allegation

Of coarse this idiot hopes for a lockout , thats because he`ll still have a job. Go ahead and kill the sport . This is what happens when you vote lawyers into politics or unions.

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