Players losing the PR war

The players take a PR hit, but it's a calculated risk. Can they recover?

Yesterday on Turf Show Radio, 3k and I talked a little about the lockout, the giant elephant in the room that's taking a dump on the 2011 NFL season. One of the most interesting points of the whole discussion was 3k's assertion that the public sentiment had turned against the players. We can hate both sides, plenty of seething anger to go around.

3k made a solid point. Once the NFL and the NFLPA bargained down from their initial $1 billion ask to splitting the difference of the some $700 million the two sides had gotten down to through talks, the union's decision to reject the offer, decertify and send the case to court made it all about money. Not the safety and health issues. The owners had just a little more money, the 18-game season was essentially tabled for 2 years...from a fan perspective, it was a pretty good deal. It was certainly enough to save football, each side walking away with something gained, something lost. Of course, you can be forgiven if you forgot how negotiations worked, since America seems to have completely lost the ability to compromise anymore. It's hard to feel too much sympathy for the players after that....and I was pretty pro player in this thing. 

As if to underscore it all, the comments made by Steelers owner Art Rooney, II, one of the more player friendly owners a moderate next to angry reactionaries in that same circle, are pretty damning for the players affiliation formerly known as the NFLPA. Rooney basically accuses the union of an unwillingness to budge at all, having made a predetermined decision to decertify and pack up for court. Said Rooney:

There wasn't a lot of yelling and finger-pointing, but there was some. More than anything, it was frustrating in that there just wasn't a lot of movement. There just didn't seem to be a lot of interest on their side in getting something done and we just came away from it with the impression that this was their plan all along - to decertify and take this thing into the courts.

I think the players were pretty emboldened by Doty's decision to take away the owners' lockout insurance in the form of guaranteed TV contracts. I would even go so far as to say that a very well paid bird in a $7,000 suit whispered in the union's ear that they could get everything they want in court, or at least have a damn good shot at it, It certainly looks like the ruling gives them a shot at it.

Sentiment may be turning against the players, but you don't have to win the public relations war in a courtroom. They'll take their chance at getting the season back on track and go into PR damage control while the lawyers fight it out and fans are placated with real live football. 

If there's a silver lining here, it's that nearly everyone, owners and players, recognize the likelihood of an injunction stopping a lockout happening soon. Rooney's not the only one who thinks so.

Jump into the fray.  

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker