I’ve been noticing a trend as the regular offseason activities continue to be disrupted and the dangerous game of “CBA Chicken” comes closer to a head-on collision.
More and more sports writers are writing articles suggesting that the NFL players may be coming closer to losing solidarity as a group.
The owners certainly have time and leverage on their side, and one thing about NFL players is a “given”. Most are almost TOO young to be thrown into a situation where they become in some cases overnight millionaires, and overnight celebrities.
They make mistakes. They spend too much money. They get over-extended. They make poor financial decisions, mostly because many are still kids.
Youth, stardom, and inexperience left a lot of newer NFL players in a poor position to deal with an interrupted paycheck for any substantial length of time.
There are other players affected who don’t even have a contract, or a paycheck to lose. There are college students whose entire futures perhaps rest on the success or the lack thereof in this, their first season.
The threat of financial insolvency is a very real “bug-a-boo” for many of the players at this point. Even many of the veterans are in a similar boat.
The NFL owners are using that fear to their advantage, but see it as just another “bargaining tool”, which it is. Both sides will use whatever tool they have at their disposal to gain any leverage they can at this point.
So, with reality closing in like a fast moving train towards the players, what does the moral support of other professional sports players do for their unity?
Only time will tell. When the respective unions for baseball, basketball, and hockey all filed legal briefs supporting the NFL players, no financial assistance was involved, only solidarity from other professional athletes in the same position.
The premise by the other unions was a familiar one, that the lockout should be lifted because professional athletes’ careers are short, and that the loss of even a part of a season will cause personal and professional injuries for which the NFL players can’t be compensated for.
The NFL players needed a little “solidarity assistance” from the outside sports world at this point. Perhaps it will give them new strength. They’ll need it.