SBD/March 14, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 3: Several Columnists Lay Blame At Owners' Door

Some columnists feel owners, like Jerry Jones, are to blame for current labor situation
Several newspaper columnists from across the country this weekend weighed in on the NFLPA's decertification and the NFL's decision to lock out the players. In Nashville, David Climer wrote the NFL owners "are a bunch of greedy billionaires who are willing to shut down the nation's most popular sports enterprise to prove a point and further fatten their wallets" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/13). FOXSPORTS.com's Adam Schein wrote the "one group that deserves all the blame" is the "greedy NFL owners, who have absolutely no business locking out the players." Schein: "It's disgusting, disgraceful, irresponsible and not fan friendly" (FOXSPORTS.com, 3/12). In St. Petersburg, John Romano wrote he "can't help but feel that NFL owners might have gotten what was coming to them this time." Romano: "This has to do with bullies getting their comeuppance" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/12). YAHOO SPORTS' Les Carpenter wrote under the header, "Arrogance Unnecessarily Jeopardizes '11 Season." The "arrogance of the NFL's owners rose with their refusal to completely open their books," and the union, "which has always operated more like a big business than a benevolent representative of the players' interests, walked away in a snit" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/11). In L.A., Bill Plaschke wrote under the header, "Owners Are Villains In NFL Labor Fight." Plaschke: "In terms of perception, the current NFL labor dispute is the most one-sided fight since good first climbed into the ring with evil" (L.A. TIMES, 3/13).

LACK OF TRUST: SI.com's Jim Trotter wrote the NFL is "in this situation because of a lack of trust on both sides, particularly among the men leading their parties," DeMaurice Smith, head of the players' group, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. But if one thinks there is a "lack of trust on the part of Smith and Goodell, it pales next to" NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash and players outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler. Trotter: "And that's bad news for football fans everywhere" (SI.com, 3/12). In Philadelphia, Ashley Fox wrote under the header, "Greed And Lack Of Trust Grinds NFL To A Halt" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/12). In N.Y., Steve Serby wrote fans were "betrayed by two sides held hostage by their own greed, two sides who could not trust one another, two sides who now take their petty, insane war to the courtroom" (N.Y. POST, 3/12). In Toronto, Dave Perkins wrote under the header, "Potential NFL Lockout About Nothing But Greed" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12).

IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK A SIDE: In St. Louis, Bernie Miklasz wrote under the header, "There Aren't Any Good Guys In NFL Dispute." Miklasz: "This isn't a matter of bad guys vs. good guys. They're all villains. It's the epitome of arrogance and ignorance to close the doors and the vault to the richest sport in the history of Western civilization when there are 13 million unemployed citizens in our great nation" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/13). CBSSPORTS.com's Pete Prisco wrote under the header, "Don't Believe The Owners -- Or The Players." Prisco: "Why did it get this bad? There are a variety of reasons, but the main one is this: Greed. ... The owners want more money. The players want more. I don't blame either. I blame them both" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/11). In N.Y., Gary Myers wrote there is "nobody to root for in this battle of billionaires and millionaires." Myers: "Lawyers have now replaced quarterbacks as the most important players in football. ... Decertification and lockout are now more important than the West Coast offense and Cover 2" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/12). In Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote it is "impossible for either side to argue it has been egregiously wronged," as they are "both getting richer." Sharp added, "When litigation replaces negotiation, the only winners are the lawyers" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/13). SI.com's Don Banks: "There's plenty of blame to go around in this high-stakes money grab, but whenever it ends, I predict both the owners and the players will still be winners in the grand scheme of things" (SI.com, 3/11).
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