Blog Entry

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:52 pm
 

Posted by Andy Benoit

While not important in the big scheme of things on the legal and business side, the issue of whether rookies will attend the 2011 Draft at Radio City Music Hall is potentially the most interesting storyline in this current labor fiasco. We’re talking about a high profile television event and an issue that all fans understand. R. Goodell (US Presswire)

Thus far, the NFLPA has received backlash for reportedly encouraging rookies to boycott the event. Thus, it’s no surprise that they clarified their side of the story on Tuesday.

“Let me also correct the record: the NFLPA is not asking anyone to ‘boycott’ anything. NFL Draft in particular,” spokesman George Atallah said. “The NFL Draft is special. Players and their families will be in NYC.  It just may be different. We will provide details when we can.”
Atallah’s comments seem to imply that the union could hold a separate draft party for players. But for right now, the public views this as just another form of boycott.

The NFL loves this backlash. And they’d love nothing more than to see the Radio City Music Hall green room full of first-round draft picks during the April 28 primetime event. Not only would player attendance make for better television, it would also be a nice PR feather in the league’s cap. You’d have future members of the NFLPA shaking hands with the commissioner. (Can’t you picture NFL executives flashing smug smiles in the direction of union executives while first-round picks embrace Roger Goodell in front of a legion of cameras?)

But the tables could soon turn in this PR battle if Sports Illustrated’s Peter King’s hunch is correct about what the NFLPA might have in store. King suggests the union event could feature rookies hearing their name called, coming up on stage and being greeted by their new teammates. If the NFLPA could pull that off, the effects could be huge.

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King quotes one high profile agent as saying, "What is the first round of the draft for the NFL? It's a TV show, a show that makes the league a lot of money. They're going to be asking young men to shake the hand of a commissioner [Roger Goodell] who is trying to lock them out. They're going to be asking young men to help the league put on this big TV production. And I can tell you this: There're a few quarterbacks who could get picked high in this draft and the NFL will invite to New York. All those quarterbacks would do by attending the draft for the NFL is giving DeMarcus Ware more incentive to knock their blocks off the first time they line up across the line of scrimmage from him.''

Think about the dilemma it would give ESPN. They’re a television partner of the NFL. Would they be willing to provide live coverage to the NFL’s competing event?

Thus, it’s no surprise that when LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson’ said he’d like to attend the draft, the league featured the story on NFLLabor.com.

“I heard about (the potential boycott),” Peterson said. “No one has contacted me to go to New York or not go to New York. I would like to go if possible. That’s what you play football for.

“That’s a big moment to go up there and shake the commissioner’s hand and get that jersey and hat. It means a lot. I definitely want to go and no one has told me not to go. So, we’ll see what happens.”

That’s something everyone is interested in seeing.

Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:10 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm
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Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

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Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting




Since: Mar 16, 2011
Posted on: March 16, 2011 1:39 am
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting




Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:52 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

Nice job of strong arming by the NFLPA.  They should be ashamed of themselves.  If any college athlete has a sac he will show up for the draft and wear the hat for the photo.  That guy would definitely have my respect and support.



Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

Have the members of the NFLPA even considered what their boycot of the draft (let's face it, and alternative party IS a boycot) will have on the draftees once they become their team mates? A young man works his whole life so he can go on stage before an international audiance to shake the Commissioner's hand and receive his team hat and jersey. Coercing that young man to forgo his dream so that his future team mates can give the NFL the finger is harsh and extremely unfair. Attending an alternative part would be like going to the Prom with your sister!

The agents who support this only do so because of the possibility of a rookie wage scale that would cost them bigger money up front. They have no one's interest in mind but their own. If my agent even suggested that I pass up on the chance to fulfill my dream, I'd dump'em -- fast!

Someday a new CBA will be signed and both sides will make nice. But for the rookies, their "Prom" has forever been lost. Will they feel lingering resentment?





Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

cant wait to see how they drag out the 1st round.if no one shows up.what will they do give each team 20 plus mins to make a pick.there going to have to do something to fill all thoes 4 plus hours on saturday.with no one to talk to .




Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:09 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

If there is no  'Union'?, it has been de-certified, it doesn't exist? Wouldn't the draftees be free agents? This is confusing.  

Really has nothing to do with the union -- with the lockout, there will be a draft but the teams and draftees cannot then have any contact or sign any contracts.  That is unless the players win the anti-trust suit and then yes, essentially, every player in the NFL would be a free agent, including those who were just drafted.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Possible draft boycott gets more interesting

There're a few quarterbacks who could get picked high in this draft and the NFL will invite to New York. All those quarterbacks would do by attending the draft for the NFL is giving more incentive to knock their blocks off the first time they line up across the line of scrimmage from him.''
Nice -- while the NFLPA was negotiating, in part, to limit how much money these high draft picks (who had not vote, are not represented by the NFLPA) could make, then they turn around and threaten them that if they don't go along with what the union (fine --"trade association") wants other players will try extra hard to hurt them on the field as well.  Look for the union lable I guess -- "do what we want or else".



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