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Open Letter to NFL Players – Put Your Fingers Down!

Dear NFL Players,

Put your fingers down!

Okay. You’ve made your opening statement to the world. In front of a huge, national television audience, the Saints and the Vikings gave a”touching” gesture pointing their #1 finger in the air to proclaim their “oneness” as a players union in the face of a collective bargaining negotiation that could end in a lockout of the 2012 season. Good for you. Now put your fingers back where they belong and just play football.

In the face of one of the worst (if not the worst) recessions in American history; where jobs have been lost; companies have gone under; unrest and anxiety reign; and uncertainty still exists; 1500 of the richest individuals on the planet want to make a statement about their job. Ugh!

I understand that at one time, a union may have been needed. Today, that is over. The NFL makes kabillions of dollars for itself and its players. In fact, this is a players league! When Sam Bradford can make the coin he does when he hasn’t even played a down, there’s no doubt that the pendulum has swung from the 1950’s. There is no need for a union when the large majority of its members of that association are millionaires.

When teachers unions go on strike, are you out there with your brothers and sisters holding picket signs? I don’t think so. When the airlines workers went on strike, were you out there in force to support them, or did it just mess up your travel plans?

Listen – you are all supposedly college graduates (or at least had it paid for unlike most of your union pals). Get smart. This is not the time to demand more money, more benefits, or a sweeter deal. I saw a piece on ESPN where Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants said something to the effect that the players don’t want to upset the fans, but they have to do what they have to do; it’s a business. Well, Osi take a gander at your brethren in the NBA, NHL, and MLB. They all have had recent player strikes or lockouts (baseball was over a decade ago) and they have never fully recovered. Those were all in GOOD economic times!

NFL players – you’ve got it made. You are America’s new pastime, but don’t take that for granted. The fans that love you and your teams are hard working folks who don’t live in the same world you do. Even those in unions see through your call for “solidarity.” We understand it’s a business, however it’s a corporate one. You all individually are your own corporate entities. Fight for your own contracts as you must. That’s business. But do the right thing and use your players association for good, not evil.

I may only be one fan’s voice. But, my guess is that there is more solidarity with my voice among my “peeps” than there is among yours.

Last piece of advice. Put down your fingers before the fans stick a different one up at you.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

3 thoughts on “Open Letter to NFL Players – Put Your Fingers Down!

  1. Great letter Dan. I think all of us fans want a new CBA not out of fairness, but out of fear that we are going to lose our precious football. Sure it would be nice if everyone was happy, but I’ll settle for just an agreement.

    My impression however of the players explanation of the whole finger thing was that the players were showing solidarity against a lock-out by the owners, and not necessarily a players against the owners statement.

    One thing of interest though; during the “finger episode”, Brett Favre stood on the sidelines with his back to the players. I guess we now know that he really does intend to retire after this season. Why would he care about a union agreement for a union he has no intention of being a part of? Typical Brett…but maybe he was just looking for a place to cash his $20 million paycheck…or his Vicodin stash on the sidelines and simply forgot about the whole finger thing.

  2. Interesting subplot: Despite the display of unity amongst the union players in New Orleans last Thursday night, the Saints players voted unanimously (59-0) on Monday to de-certify that very players union (the NFLPA).

    Such a move is a negotiating tactic to avoid a lockout and pave the way for an Anti-Trust lawsuit in Federal Court, but it still an interesting display of duality that effectively demonstrates the ability of man to say one thing and yet do another.

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