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Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

Posted on: March 7, 2011 10:38 am
 
Posted by Andy Benoit

President Obama has essentially indicated that he will not be choosing sides in the NFL’s labor negotiations. Asked about it last week, he said, “You’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars. You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars. People are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making mortgage [payments]. . . . The two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States intervening. . . . [F]or an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way.”

Matt Birk, the Ravens’ Harvard-educated center, took a little exception to the President’s words. “He talked about the NFL being $9 billion, which is correct, but he kind of said it a little bit sarcastic,” Birk said, via the Baltimore Sun. “I mean, the U.S. government brings in a couple trillion [dollars], don’t you think they’d know how to balance the budget? . . . .

“And ‘millionaire players’ isn’t really correct.  Most NFL players are not millionaires.  They don’t make millions of dollars.  But that’s OK.  You know what, that kind of right there is the general feeling. . . .  Billionaires and millionaires and nobody really cares about their problems. ‘Work it out.’”

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 7:46 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:16 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

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Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

BudGB,
wouldn't disagree with any of your observations, and to answer your question, I don't have the stats on the number of players who make the league minimum.  I will say that I would be shocked if the percentage of workforce that qualifies as a millionaire for the labor category "NFL football player" isn't MUCH higher than for just about any other labor category.  I bet it's even higher than the percentage of actors that are millionaires, doctors and small business owners.  So in that sense, I'd say it's safe to say the NFL IS chauked full of millionaires (on the players side).
I'll do some digging and see what I find.



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

TimeBandit,
It's refreshing to have someone disagree with a comment without going nuclear.  I actually agree with you on the notion that teachers need to raise their game and are (at least partially) responsible for the decline in education.  I do think that if that profession paid better they'd attract a better calibre of professional, and our kids would be better served.  You know the old axiom I'm sure "those who can DO, those who can't TEACH"... I've always wanted to teach but couldnt stomach the pay cut.  One final note, teacher salary increases are most likely reflective of negotiated union contracts that are typically tied (very closely) to CPI or inflation, so they aren't out of line with what the salaries across the whole job spectrum are doing (put another way, teaching isn't becoming any more financially attractive an option than it was in the 70's).  Will not disagree with a single thought posted by you on the back 9 of your comment. 



Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:25 am
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

....to read a book or relate with OUR children...



Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:22 am
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

I have attended a fair amount of NFL games over the past 10 years, however I no longer find it economically viable.  As a Jets fan, the least expensive ticket available is $95  (upper tier corner).  If you want to take your kids or wife/girlfriend, well you can add up the cost (hope you're not hungry or thirsty).  Let's face it, most NFL fans are lower to middle class, the same group who is struggling in this poor economy.  We are all paying into unemployment and welfare to help support our fellow citizens (although I think welfare should be abolished. People collecting unemployment spend time in the work force, where as welfare recipients are generally 'collecting for life' as a stand against 'the man').  While the minimum $310k for the average 3 year career isn't an outragous amount of money, it is still more than most of us make in a lifetime, and these 3 year players can come out of the league at the age of 25 and open a business or find a coaching job.  Now let us consider the top players making 15-20 million per year for ten years.  WOW. WOW. What's to complain about?  Maybe they should take salary cuts to bring up the league minimum, or maybe every one should take a salary cut (including the owners), before all of the stadiums are empty. Go ahead and block the network from airing the game, it will give us more time to read a book or relate with out children. Owner's?  Now that's another problem.  Own a team for 40 years @ $50mil a year.  I hope your planning to colonize Mars with that $2 billion in revenue, so ALL of Earths citizens have a place to immigrate to when the Sun envelopes OUR planet  It's sort of nauseating to even read these dicussions about Millionaires financial trouble.  Stop filling your garage with $100,000 vehicles, they aren't good investments brainiacs.  An $800,000 house isn't GOOD enough for you? You need an 8.5 million home with a bowling alley and a movie theatre?  Call me when the bank forecloses on you, idiots.   Not all, but many owner's and players alike may have lost touch with 'REAL LIFE'. 



Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:56 am
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

I agree with Birk.  The government (long before Obama) has constantly failed to manage its budget.  It's about time some cuts were made , especially to reduce our foreign debt.



Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2011 2:27 am
 

Matt Birk responds to Obama's remarks

MeatHead -

As you said the minimum salary is $310k, but do you know what percentage of the league makes the minimum salary (I don't know myself, so I'm just asking)?  I know the veteran minimum is quite a bit higher, but just for argument's sake lets go with the basic minimum here.

$310,000 - That number is before taxes, health insurance, union fees and agent fees.  Tally up those expenses alone and there goes about half of their salary.  Factor in that many of them have family obligations as well, and there goes another big chunk.  So after the "major" expenses, they may be looking at $150k-$175k.  Still a large amount of money in most peoples eyes, but then you also have to factor in that the average players career is 3 years.  Even if that "minimum salary" player got to keep everything, the typical player does not reach millionare status playing in the nfl. 

I think what distorts a lot of people's perceptions about this dispute between players/owners is that the players you see in the headlines are the big name, big money guys - because they are potentially more influencial with the owners.  However, those big name guys are also fighting for the concerns of "little guys" of the league, who won't make enough money in their short career to pay for the healthcare that they will need for the 30-50 years they will live (if they're lucky) after their football career is over.


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