Football fans the world over were popping champagne corks on Thursday evening as NFL owners voted to ratify the new proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement. They forgot one important fact – the players have to approve the same deal. Thanks to a late power play by NFL owners, this whole thing could blow up in the eleventh hour and put the 2011 season at risk.
The owners put some specific conditions to the deal they put on the table that has drawn the ire of NFL players. This from Richard Berthelsen, general counsel for the NFLPA to players reps:
“In addition to depriving the players of the time needed to consider forming a union and making needed changes to the old agreement, this proposed procedure would, in my view, also violate federal labor laws,” Berthelsen said in the email. “Those laws prohibit employers from coercing their employees into forming a union and could result in any agreement reached through the procedure being declared null and void.”
In addition, multiple reports indicate that the players haven’t even seen the deal that owners approved. How can they ratify an agreement that doesn’t fully exist? Putting the deadline on their approval and requirement to re-certify as a union, the NFL owners may have just screwed this thing. Not only to put those conditions out there, but to then hold a seemingly celebratory press conference on, it’s a big mistake that has rubbed players the wrong way.
This reminds me of the Bears’ failed Dave McGinnis hiring by the Bears that led to ultimately Michael McCaskey getting canned as team president and the start of the Dick Jauron era as Chicago Bears head coach. I blame the McCaskeys for this fiasco!