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SBD/July 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Boston Globe Columnist Suggests NFL Owners "Obliterated" Union With Latest CBA
Published July 22, 2013
READY FOR SOME ACTUAL FOOTBALL: NFL training camps begin this week, and in N.Y., Ken Belson wrote the start "cannot come soon enough for the NFL” after an offseason “marked by owners, front-office personnel and players having run-ins with the law.” It has “highlighted … the intense scrutiny that comes with being the nation’s largest and most popular sports league.” The offseason developments also “reflect the unintended consequences of the league’s push to become a 365-day business with events spread throughout the year.” The negative headlines have “had the effect of crowding out notable business announcements” such as the NFL renewal of its deal with Verizon and signing a $400M deal with Microsoft (N.Y. TIMES, 7/21). ESPN's Jemele Hill said, “Image is often about perception and ... for the NFL, even thought the vast majority of players I believe do the right things, all it takes is a few banner cases and all of a sudden the rest of the league is under scrutiny.” Hill said the amount of arrests is “more alarming” for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell because “part of the reason why he instituted a personal code of conduct is to curb some of this, only to find out that since he’s done that arrests have actually risen." Hill: "If you’re him, you’re wondering, ‘What needs to be done?’” The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said the “only way we’re going to know ultimately” if the NFL has an image problem is if “people stop coming to the games or stop watching and the ratings have a significant drop, neither of which is going to happen." ESPN's Howard Bryant said, “The real problem that the NFL has is the fact that it’s a perfect storm of arrests, concussions and ex-player lawsuits. It’s an umbrella issue for them” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN2, 7/21).