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A Brief and Timely Check-In
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On March 18, 2011 @ 12:27 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled
In February I went back to college. I haven’t decided yet if it’s the best decision I’ve ever made or the worst. Regardless, until I complete the semester (which shall be my last – I’ll graduate half a decade later than I should have, but with a very respectable GPA), you won’t hear much from me on here.
On the other hand, shutting up is not, nor has it ever been, my strong suit. Thus, I’ll aim for brevity, but given the present state of the league, silence doesn’t seem a viable option.
In the following paragraph, I will detail the financial obligation bore by the players toward the development of the league and the maintenance of its facilities:
In the following paragraph, I will list for you every private corporation whose complete financial records for the past decade are open to its unions:
Were unreasonable demands enough to sway my opinion, I could probably form a solid argument against the NFLPA from little more than the specifics of those two paragraphs. By contrast, I could construct a similar argument for the NFLPA on the grounds that the owners unanimously opted out of the former collective bargaining agreement. I see, however, a greater, graver issue which supersedes the simple fact that nothing short of callous, childish greed could cause two parties so much difficulty slicing a 7.8 billion-dollar pie. As difficult as it is to pick a pony in a race so ugly and unwarranted, I saw something last week that led me to do just that.
The owners made what I believe to be a fair offer to the NFLPA. Paramount to why I feel the offer was fair is the $82 million over two years that was to be given to better establish proper pension and benefits for former players. It’s no great secret that the NFLPA has not allocated enough money to properly address the needs of its 13,000 retirees (to say nothing of the much larger mass of players whose short tenures in the league make them eligible for nothing – a list that includes names like Marcus Williams and Kevin Everett). I don’t have a good gauge as to how much is needed to effectively alleviate the issue, but I have to believe that $82 million would help.
I view this as a basic and rather egregious failure of one of the union’s primary and most important responsibilities. I see documentary after documentary of past players whose health has been devastated by the after-effects of the game, and I earnestly question how their primary focus can be on anything other than fixing this. At present, assistance is funded entirely by current players. There is no precedent for owner contribution. This was a golden opportunity to form a sea change, and the union balked. They balked on other important elements as well (a well overdue rookie wage scale, for instance), but I just can’t reconcile myself to support a group that so willfully ignores its neediest faction, particularly when the need is so legitimate.
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